Live Cattle exports in full swing

Northern Stevedoring Services says the live cattle trade has hit high gear with exports to Indonesia in full swing.

Local authorities report a 30 percent rise in live cattle shipments compared to the same period last year, reflecting growing demand from international markets, particularly in Asia and the Middle East.

Live cattle exports by sea lifted 12 percent or 73,612 from 597,179 in 2022 to 670,791 in 2023, said peak group Meat and Livestock Australia.

The live cattle export trade to Indonesia is back on track after a hiatus following the delayed release of import permits from Indonesia. With strong demand to meet Ramadan supply, NSS has assisted in the loading of 16,500 head in Townsville year to date.

This is expected to exceed over 20,000 head year to date following the loading of another two vessels this weekend. 

The live export trade is an important trade for our graziers as it gives them access to multiple international markets. It is particularly important for northern Australia producers, making up more than 50 percent of producer’s income. Australia’s live export industry exceeds $1B of earnings annually. 

“This is an indication of how important our live cattle export is not only to our graziers but also how much it means for our economy,” Mr George said.

“As the export facilitator, we need to be on our game. In our case it is constantly maintaining our processes to ensure we meet standards as they relate to treatment of cattle loaded for live export.

“We do our job well to allow trade to flow.”

Around 340,000 head of cattle are exported to Indonesia yearly. 

Townsville Port claimed the title of Australia’s largest cattle export port in 2019-20, taking the mantle from Darwin. Townsville shipped 395,628 cattle in the financial year and Darwin 387,484.

Darwin also shipped out more than 10,000 buffalo over the period. 

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