Port to beef up business

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Port of Port Hedland exported 4,900 head of cattle last year season.
Camera IconPort of Port Hedland exported 4,900 head of cattle last year season.

The number of cattle exported from the world’s biggest bulk mineral port could more than double this season after two shipments last year.

Pilbara Ports Authority landside operations manager Jon Giles said he wanted pastoralists and exporters to know the port was “open for business”.

The facility ended its four-year spell without live exports last year, exporting 4900 head to Indonesia in September and October.

“Our export numbers and the vessels will depend on a number of factors but being the link in the chain here we are keen to build on it,” Mr Giles said.

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“We don’t have a target number as such , it is very dependent on a lot of factors including herd sizes and mustering... but maybe four shipments or more.

“Through the years from 2008 to 2011 we were handling around 15,000 a year.”

At its peak, the port exported 22,000 head of cattle in one season.

Mr Giles said the facility was capable of dealing with those numbers but the port’s yard would need upgrading.

He said three berths at the port had been upgraded to cater for the anticipated cattle shipments this year.

“We wanted to get back on to the front foot and stimulate the trade,” Mr Giles said.

PPA hosted its second live export forum this month, taking politicians, live exporters, pastoralists and media for a tour before an afternoon of seminars.

At the meeting, former Nationals MP Paul Brown revealed his plan to build an abattoir Port Hedland to service the industry.

Mr Brown owns the Port Hedland Export Depot Feedlot with his business partner, Rob MacPherson.

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