Live Export

Cattle shipments maintain even pace in September

James Nason, October 16, 2020

Source: Aus Govt monthly livestock export data

AUSTRALIAN cattle export volumes in September almost identically mirrored the previous month’s activity with 77,685 head shipped last month, compared to 77,559 in August.

September exports to Indonesia totalled 40,861, slightly above the 38,583 head shipped in August.

Year to date exports to Indonesia remain well down on last year, with 377,174 cattle shipped so far in 2020, comparing to 505,355 for the same period of 2019.

Export activity to Vietnam maintained a solid pace in September, with 18,149 cattle shipped for the month, up on the 15,781 exported in August.

In contrast to Indonesia, year on year exports to Vietnam are running higher than 2019 levels, with 217,771 shipped so far in 2020, compared to the 187,768 shipped in the same period of last year.

Trade volumes to China also remained relatively strong, with 13,051 cattle exported in September, fractionally higher than the 13,011 delivered in August.

Like Vietnam, year on year exports to China are also higher, albeit slightly, than 2019 levels, with 103,245 cattle shipped so far this year, compared to 100,816 in the same period of last year.

Darwin remains Australia’s biggest export port in 2020, with the 16,966 head shipped in September taking its year to date volumes to 287,324.

A few big individual shipments loaded in Townsville in September saw the North Queensland port post its third biggest monthly export figures for the year so far of 29,262.

Year to date export volumes from Townsville now stand at 211,339.

Portland exported 9672 cattle in September, taking its figures for 2020 to 115,538, while increased activity from Broome including 10,978 cattle exported in September has lifted the northern WA port’s year to date export figures to 84,213 head.

Meanwhile export activity out of northern Australia remains strong.

Contracted prices for light export steers ex Darwin are still sitting at the $3.60/kg liveweight mark, with talk of $3.80 being offered for flood plain cattle for November onwards.

Supply remains tight but the ships keep coming.

At least three more ships are scheduled to load in the next week including the Diamantina at Broome, the Al Kuwait (formerly the Ocean Shearer) at Townsville and the Gelbray Express at Darwin.

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