Australian live cattle exports increase 22%

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Demand in the Asian market boosts Australia's live cattle exports
Demand in the Asian market boosts Australia's live cattle exports

Related tags Live cattle exports Export Beef

Australian live cattle exports reached 1.38m head, in the 2014-15 fiscal year, up 22% on the previous 12 months.

This is the highest fiscal year volume on record, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, published by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA). It said the numbers were boosted by strengthening demand from key Asian markets and high prices.

Total live cattle exports were valued at AUD$1.4bn in 2014-15, up 29% on the previous fiscal year (Australian Bureau of Statistics).

The largest Australian live cattle destination was Indonesia, taking 746,193 head (up 20% year-on-year). Meanwhile, Vietnam experienced substantial growth, with shipments reaching 309,505 head (up 136%). Live cattle exports to Thailand also grew rapidly this year, jumping from only a few hundred head last fiscal year to 7,723 head in 2014-15.

However, not all markets saw an increase. China dropped by 15% to 79,517 head, while Malaysia was 4% lower, at 52,876 head. Cattle shipments to Israel were also 39% lower, at 65,677 head.

Live cattle exports are forecast to decline in 2015-16, due to lower northern cattle supply and tighter permit allocations, the MLA revealed.  

In July, Indonesia announced reduced third-quarter import permits of 50,000 head for liveweight (generally around 300kg lwt) feeder cattle. However, changes to import allocations will see the state logistics agency BULOG import an additional 50,000 head of heavier (+350kg lwt) slaughter cattle.

Australia also exported almost 2.2m head of live sheep during 2014-15, up 9% on the previous financial year. Overall export values also increased, up 32% year-on-year, to $244m.

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