Signs more NT cattle going south

James Nason, 02/06/2011

A Northern Territory livestock agent says there are signs that increasing numbers of top end cattle are moving south.

Jock McPherson of Territory Rural McPherson in Alice Springs said large numbers of heavier NT cattle, particularly cows, had been transported to Victorian and South Australian meatworks in the past 12 months following the imposition of 350kg weight restrictions by Indonesia in June 2010.

Feedback from southern processing buyers this week indicated there had been higher than usual requests for quotes from northern cattlemen in recent days.

Mr McPherson said it was likely that some were looking to secure cash flow for heavier cattle at current southern market rates, driven partly by concerns about the future of the market for lighter cattle into Indonesia following graphic footage aired on Monday night’s Four Corners program.

“A southern abattoir told me last night that he had quoted a huge amount of cows during yesterday and last night out of the north,” Mr McPherson said. 

“Obviously it has stirred a little bit of concern and is having an effect.

“It has probably accentuated the issue – a few blokes have thought I better some cattle booked in and crank it up.”

Mr McPherson said that after a fall in prices four weeks ago the market had been gradually gaining strength.

He said freight costs from Alice Springs to southern meatworks typically cost around $120-$130 per head, but the cost increased significantly for cattle from further north.

“If you want to come from another 1000km further up, between Tennant Creek and Katherine, take cattle out of there down to southern abattoirs it is a huge logistical exercise, plus cost.”


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -