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Indonesian cattle imports surge to near four-year high in March

Beef Central, 16/04/2024

Australia recorded its biggest month of cattle exports to Indonesia almost four years in March, delivering 62,041 cattle to Indonesian lot feeders during the month.

Picture: NTLEA

It was the highest monthly total to Indonesia since June 2020, when 67,062 head were exported.

The surge in activity in March followed the delayed release of 2024 import permits by the Indonesian Government until mid-February, which resulted in a rush of  exports of feeder and heavier weight cattle to help meet the Ramadan peak annual beef consumption period in Indonesia in March and early April.

More than 21,000 cattle to Indonesia were exported from Townsville.

20,717 were exported from Darwin, but many of that number also came from Queensland, with thousands of head carted across the Barkly as a prolonged northern wet season inhibited access to many NT stations.

Almost 20,000 cattle were also exported to Indonesia from WA including 14,216 from Broome and 5,683 from Fremantle.

Overall 75,682 cattle were exported from Australia in March, registering the month as the second highest month for national cattle exports in two and a half years – exceeded only during that period by the 86,696 head exported in December 2023.

Destination markets for  Australian cattle in March included Vietnam (6041 head, 20pc below the rolling five year average for the month); China (3500 head, 58pc below the 5 yr av), the Philippines (1610, 122pc above the 5 yr av) and Israel (501 head, 83pc below).

NT sources have told Beef Central this week first round musters are still yet to get underway on many stations, but overall numbers are expected to be above average this year following back to back wet seasons.


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