Total Australian feeder and slaughter cattle exports for the calendar year-to-August were down 33 percent compared with the same period last year, according to Meat & Livestock Australia’s latest livestock export trade data.
Exports from January to August have totalled 488,000 head, forced down by challenges including tight domestic cattle supply, historically high cattle prices, an appreciating Australian dollar and several in-market challenges affecting demand.
Despite the year-on-year reduction, exports in August totalled 88,000 head, unchanged on the volume exported in August 2016.
Shipments of feeder and slaughter cattle to Indonesia in August totalled, 76,500 head – the largest monthly shipment of cattle to the country in 21-months, supported by the seasonal increase as part of the religious festival Eid al-Adha and the requirement to re-stock feedlots post Ramadan.
Year-to-August feeder and slaughter cattle exports to Indonesia declined 24pc year-on-year, to 330,000 head. The presence of cheaper Indian Buffalo Meat (IBM) in wet markets across Indonesia continues to impact the sale of Australian cattle.
There were modest shipments recorded to Israel and Vietnam in August, totalling 6,000 and 5,000 head, respectively. In the three months prior (May-July), cattle exports to Vietnam were supported by shipments of feeder cattle, as previously-empty or new feedlots attempted to fill capacity in order to avoid land being returned to provincial governments – there was no recorded exports of feeder cattle to Vietnam in August.
Furthermore, high Australian cattle prices continue to be a contributing factor in the marked decline in the number of live cattle being sent to Vietnam and Malaysia. Lower priced Thai cattle are also increasingly meeting importer requirements in Malaysia and Vietnam.
Source: Meat & Livestock Australia