According to Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) research, total shipments of live cattle are up 14% compared to 2018’s figures.
Big wins for the country included shipments of feeder cattle from Australia to Indonesia for the calendar year-to-date up 23% year-on-year. This was driven by a return to a more affordable price point however MLA warns that there could be availability problems latter in the season. Demand in Indonesia is also expected to rise during the Ramadhan and Eid al-Fitr periods.
Exports of feeder and slaughter cattle to Vietnam for the calendar year-to-April totalled 64,000 head, up 8% year-on-year. The limited availability of locally-sourced cattle and, in turn, higher prices has enabled Australian cattle to be more competitive in the market compared to the year prior.
Another major growth area was China which saw a 41% year-on-year increase albeit from a low base. MLA highlighted that exports of slaughter cattle to China continue to face numerous barriers to entry in the market and the trade for slaughter cattle is yet to expand beyond one or two shipments each month – there were no recorded shipments in April. The barriers include a value-added tax on imported cattle, the 14-day imposed processing timeframe for slaughter cattle and regional limitations on sourcing cattle from Blue Tongue virus zones reflect the array of commercial challenges limiting growth in the trade.