Australian live cattle exports totaled 1.129 million head in 2016, official data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Department of Agriculture shows.
That represents a 15 percent decline on 2015 export volumes.
Meat & Livestock Australia said the result was influenced by lower Australian cattle supplies, higher cattle prices, unfavourable exchange rates, vessels coming off contract but also policy changes and market consolidation in some of the key export markets.
Somewhat surprisingly, given the level of challenges Australia’s live cattle trade has faced Indonesia in the past 12 months, feeder cattle exports to the number one cattle export remained relatively stable for year.
Cattle exports to Indonesian in December totaled 62,175 head, down only 3 percent on the 595,950 head shipped in 2015.
It was a higher-than-expected result given the disruption caused by the introduction of a new import policy in the latter months of the year.
Official reports indicate that 25,000 tonnes of frozen Indian buffalo meat has already entered the Indonesian market; however these are estimated to be conservative figures.
By the end of the financial year there is the potential for over a 100,000 tonnes of Indian buffalo to have entered Indonesia, with permits allocated for these volumes.
Furthermore, there will be a requirement to increase the beef supply as the religious festival of Ramadan approaches in the month of May.
6,326 breeders were shipped to Indonesia in December, primarily as part of the ongoing government breeding policies, which are set for review at the end of 2018.
For the 12 months ending December, feeder and slaughter exports to Vietnam declined 47pc year on-year totalling 191,808 head – albeit off an extremely high base from the previous year and bringing figures in line with what is generally considered sustainable for the Vietnamese market.
Source: Meat & Livestock Australia