Live Export

Australia’s biggest cattle export markets in 2015-16

James Nason, 18/07/2016

The squeeze on cattle supply has again been borne out in just-released live export shipping data for the full the 2015-16 financial year.

Despite high prices and large import permit allocations from Indonesia, Australia exporters shipped 14 percent fewer cattle in 2015-16 than the previous financial year.

In total the figures from Meat & Livestock Australia show Australia shipped 1.1 million cattle in the 12 months to June 2016, down by 173,676 head on the 1.27 million shipped in the year to June 2015.

Live export prices strengthened incrementally through June as a result of seasonally tight northern supplies and persistent buyer activity throughout physical markets.

MLA said feeder steer prices in June averaged 324c, which was close to 40c/kg higher the average in May.

Equivalent lines delivered to Townsville reached as high as 300¢, up over 30¢/kg lwt month-on-month.

Feeder and slaughter cattle exports

Shipments of feeder and slaughter cattle to Indonesia eased by 24pc to 566,389 head during the financial year.

Reductions were also experienced in Vietnam, down 7c to 282,952 head, and Malaysia, which dropped by 39pc to 35,956 head.

Growth markets for the period included Israel, where shipments increased by 25pc to 82,382 head, and Russia, up 18pc to 43,812 head.

One of the interesting points in the latest shipping figures for 2015-16 is the return of quite significant feeder and slaughter cattle exports to Turkey.

Prior to the roll out of ESCAS in 2012, Turkey was Australia’s second largest live cattle export market behind Indonesian, taking 56,557 cattle in 2011, worth $45 million.

However, export activity to the market all but stopped due to a range of factors at the time, including the difficulties and costs of implementing ESCAS, the high dollar and the cheaper supply of cattle from other sources available to Turkey.

However, with some importers in Turkey now having attained ESCAS accreditation, export activity to the market is rebuilding. The 17,402 cattle exported to the market in the past 12 months were primarily feeder cattle sourced from Western Australia and South Australia.

Beef and dairy breeding cattle exports

Exports of beef and dairy breeding cattle to China grew by 53pc to 121,637 head in 2015-16.

Of that the 121,637, about half (around 60,000) were beef breeders, and predominantly Angus sourced from Southern Australia below the bluetongue zone.

That in itself has been a significant increase. The previous year, Australia exported only about 15,000 beef breeding cattle to China.

The remainder of our beef and dairy breeder export markets are much smaller, but include a diverse range of markets throughout the Middle East, the sub-continent and Asia.

10 largest Feeder and Slaughter cattle export markets, 2015-16

July 2015-June 2016 July 2014-June 2015 % change Head change
Indonesia 566,389 740,651 -24% -174,262
Vietnam 282,952 304,336 -7% -21,384
Israel 82,382 65,677 25% 16,705
Russia 43,812 37,063  18%  6,749
Malaysia 35,956 50,752 -29% -14,796
Philippines  26,679 26,962 -1% -283
Egypt 18,500  19,900 -7% -1,400
Turkey  17,807 2,400 642% 15,407
Japan 9,630 9,840 -2% -210
Mexico  6,677 6,677


10 largest beef and dairy breeding cattle export markets, 2015-16

July 2015-June 2016 July 2014-June 2015 % change Head change
China 121,637 79,448 53% 42,189
Pakistan  3,507 1,989 76% 1,518
Indonesia   3,343  4,214 -21% -871
Kuwait  3,204 260 1132% 2,944
Vietnam   2,846 4,275 -33% -1,429
Malaysia   2,132 2,124 0% 8
Sri Lanka  1,317 1,181 12% 136
Russia 1,152 2,279 -49% -1,127
Laos  930 930
Taiwan 628 3 208 33% 625












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  1. Ali Kashan, 20/07/2016

    Hi Ali
    please see this article in Beef Central.

    Kind regards

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