Cattle exports in August brought the year-to-date total 24 percent above year-ago volumes, the latest monthly export data released by Meat & Livestock Australia yesterday shows.
August cattle exports totalled 107,832 head head, bringing the year-to-date total to 680,000 head, 24 percent above year-ago volumes.
August exports were the highest monthly figure since December 2016 when 123,000 cattle were exported.
Year-to-August shipments to Indonesia were up 8 percent to 360,000 head.
MLA said live cattle exports to Indonesia are set to benefit from a quota of 575,000 head of male cattle included in the Indonesia–Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations. The quota, which has a 0% in-quota tariff, will grow by 4pc a year over five years. Permits will be issued automatically and on an annual basis.
A government audit (due December 2018) is scheduled to review the implementation of the 5:1 feeder-breeder policy. However, the outcome looks uncertain, given breeder exports are well short of the required number, with only 5500 breeders shipped so far this year. A proposed revision to the breeder policy has been put forward to the government.
Exports of feeder and slaughter cattle to Vietnam for the calendar year-to-August totaled 132,000 head, up 15pc year-on-year.
Opportunistic buying resulted in a lift in exports to Malaysia and the Philippines for the calendar year-to-August, as importers take advantage of lower cattle prices – albeit volumes have increased off a low base the year prior.
Almost three years since initial health protocols were signed, and following a string of early air shipments, the slaughter cattle trade to China has developed into a more regular sea-freight business.
However, exports to China in August were driven by a large breeder consignment out of Portland. China is the third largest cattle export destination for Australian cattle (and now second for slaughter cattle) and exports for the first eight months of the year increased 57% to 70,500 head.
Source: Meat & Livestock Australia