Live Export

What the China livex protocol means for northern, southern producers

James Nason, 17/08/2015

The formalisation of the feeder/slaughter cattle export protocol between Australia and China last week has now provided the trade with clear details as to how the new trade will take shape.

The final protocol was signed late last week.

Australian Livestock Exporter’s Council chief executive officer Alison Penfold told Beef Central the new document places Australia in a better position than the previous protocol by opening access to feeder/slaughter cattle, but is still our “toughest” feeder/slaughter cattle protocol.

Ms Penfold said exporters are now working through the protocol to determine how commercial it is.

The protocol confirms earlier indications that the trade will focus on southern Australia in the initial stages at least.

“It would appear that for the short to medium term the focus is on southern Australia,” Ms Penfold said.

“I am not hearing any talk at this stage about exporting out of northern Australia at this time as the protocol is somewhat more challenging for northern cattle – particularly into the populous southern China markets.”

The two information sheets, below, were prepared by LiveCorp to provide a summary of the requirements for northern Australia and southern Australia (Click on either image to view in larger format):

China livex 2 China livex 3

In summary for exports from northern Australia:

  • To northern China: feeder and slaughter cattle – 3 months on farm of origin and 7 days pre export quarantine (PEQ)
  • To southern China: slaughter only – 3 months on farm of origin, 60 days pre export quarantine in the bluetongue free zone and test of BTV

The export of feeder cattle from the northern blue tongue zone to southern China is not permitted.

Ms Penfold said she has dubbed this clause the “Indonesia clause” because it means that, in effect, there is no competition from China for the type of northern feeder cattle that normally go to Indonesia.

In summary for exports from southern Australia:

  • To northern China: feeder and slaughter cattle – 3 months on farm of origin and 7 days PEQ
  • To southern China: Slaugther cattle – 3 months on farm of origin and 7 days PEQ; Feeder cattle – three months on farm of origin, 30 days PEQ & BTV test.

Beef Central understands that while it may take some months for volume live exports to commence to China via sea consignments, the first air consignment is likely to occur within weeks.

 

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