Cattle exports from Darwin to Indonesia increased in May, with exporters shipping close to the same number of cattle for the month as in May 2016.
39,475 cattle were exported from Darwin in May, just 340 head less than in May 2016.
Of that volume 83 percent went to Indonesia and 17pc went to Vietnam.
Darwin has now shipped 105,888 to Indonesia for the first five months of the year, down by 9pc on the 114,180 shipped in the corresponding period of last year.
The vast majority of the 15,436 cattle exported from Townsville and 14,764 from Broome in May went to Vietnam, with the market taking 78pc of Townsville’s shipments and 79pc of Broome’s shipments.
Prices are still holding up, with feeder steers quoted at around 330c/kg ex Darwin, about 20c/kg above this time last year, when demand conditions were stronger.
Contributing to the lower shipments to Indonesia this year has been a later than usual end to dry season mustering, and ongoing reports of weak demand in Indonesia due factors including the strong supply of lower-priced Indian buffalo meat in the market and subdued economic conditions in Indonesia, which is eroding consumer buying power.
Restockers are also competing with exporters for cattle, with some stations reportedly in the market buying large numbers of cattle following large pasture renovation and water infrastructure expansion projects.