Wellard Rural Export’s MV Ocean Shearer will arrive in Townsville tomorrow to load 11,000 cattle, marking the start of a key seasonal build up for the northern live export trade to Indonesia.
Beef consumption in Indonesia spikes during the annual Ramadan religious festival in August, and the country’s lot feeders will be looking to fill feedlots from now through until July in preparation for the peak demand period.
The Indonesian Government has introduced a quarterly permit system to regulate Australian live cattle imports in 2011, and has issued a permit for 210,000 cattle for the current three month period.
The quarterly permit system was implemented to give some certainty back to the trade after the Indonesian Government imposed severe weight and quota restrictions on Australian live cattle imports in June 2010 as part of its desire to push towards self-sufficiency of beef supply by 2014.
The regulations included an overall limit on live cattle imports to 500,000 head per year and weight restrictions limiting imports to cattle weighing 350kg or less.
The MV Ocean Shearer, the world’s largest livestock carrier, will load 11,000 cattle in Townsville on Thursday and will load another 8000 cattle in Darwin before crossing to Indonesia.
Exports out of Darwin and Broome are also expected to commence in earnest in coming weeks with live export companies repositioning fleets for the Indonesian trade.