Australia’s peak cattle producer representative body is urging northern producers to consider alternative markets for cattle originally intended for the live export trade this year.
The Cattle Council of Australia said a recent ABARES survey had shown that many northern producers were holding back large numbers of cattle in the hope they could still be shipped to Indonesia.
The survey showed that 365,000 cattle remained unsold and, further, producers were expecting to send 170,000 head to Indonesia this year.
Industry predictions have suggested that while Indonesia will allow up to 180,000 cattle to be imported during the current July to September quarter, less than half of that number is likely to be actually exported because of the impact of new trade restrictions.
“Although the live export tap has been turned back on, unfortunately it seems it will be a long and slow road before the cattle start to flow in any significant number,” CCA president Greg Brown said.
“The new strict supply chain assurance requirements will limit exports for the short to medium term.
"Affected beef producers need to think seriously about alternative markets and try and make the hard decisions based on what they believe is best for their business."
Cattle Council is encouraging producers to phone the Australian Government Assistance Line on 1800 808 869 between 8am and 8pm local time Monday to Friday.
“Producers may be able to access the Live Export Business Assistance Package which can be used to cover business expenses such as transport costs. This type of assistance may make alternate markets more attractive,” Mr Brown said.