LIVE export numbers have continued their decline, with the latest Federal Government figures showing the quietest August since 2012.
According to the Department of Agriculture’s monthly report, 72,774 head were exported from Australia last month, slightly up on 71,451 in July.
Indonesia took 32,327 head, similar to last month, while the number of cattle being shipped to Vietnam dropped 6,000 head to 22,302.
The figures represent an overall decline in live export with 579,594 leaving Australian shores this year, down from 735,477 this time last year and 823,170 by August in 2019.
Last week, Federal Government commodities forecaster ABARES predicted this trend to continue for the rest of the 2021-22 financial year – citing high prices on the domestic market and limited availability of cattle.
The forecaster said COVID-19 and associated restrictions had suppressed demand in the two biggest live export markets of Indonesia and Vietnam.
Festivals typically associated with peak annual beef consumption in South-East Asia have been restricted to a much smaller scale and, in many cases, a cheaper protein menu.
ABARES’ report said with a wet spring across the eastern states on the Bureau of Meteorology’s outlook, demand from Australian re-stockers and feedlots was likely to remain high, putting further pressure on the live export market.