Final report details
Assessing the value of the livestock export trade to regional Australia
August 30, 2006
December 15, 2006
This study describes and quantifies the contribution of the livestock export industry to producers and economies in regions that are highly reliant on the livestock export trade. These designated regions are the Northern Territory (cattle), Western Australia (southern sheep and cattle), Western Australia (northern cattle), Queensland (cattle) and Victoria (dairy cattle).
The purpose of the study was to provide an objective and independent estimate of the contribution of the trade to promote an improved understanding of its importance within Federal, State/Territory and Local governments, as well as in the industries concerned and in the general community.
Assessing the regional level contribution of the value of the live export trade will assist the industry in promoting understanding of the livestock export trade and the value it provides to producers in the sheep, beef and dairy sectors. The target audience for these messages are the Federal, State, territory and local governments and community at large.
Final report summary:
This study described and quantified the contribution of the livestock export industry to producers and economies in regions that are highly reliant on the livestock export trade, namely northern Western Australia (cattle), the Northern Territory (cattle), Queensland (cattle), southern Western Australia (sheep and cattle) and Victoria (dairy cattle). Estimates were made of the current contribution of the industry in those regions as well as the short, medium and long-term impact on the regional economies if there were to be a cessation of the livestock export trade.
Five regional case studies were prepared detailing the contribution that livestock exports make to regional economies. Economic contribution has been measured in terms of value of output (business turnover), gross regional product (GRP) and employment. The case studies were based on consultations, value chain analysis and regional economic modelling.
In the first year following trade cessation, it is estimated that gross regional product in the five case study regions will fall by over $1.1 billion. Aggregate employment is expected to drop by over 5,800 FTE (full time equivalent) jobs, with southern WA feeling the greatest impact but with significant job losses in Victoria, Northern Territory and northern WA as well. The effects of trade cessation will ease over time as new markets are sought, changes are made to on-farm enterprise mix (where alternatives exist) and businesses along the live export supply chain look for other opportunities. However, in lieu of significant new markets for these livestock sectors (i.e. markets that are willing to pay prices equivalent to those currently realised in the live export markets), the net losses from cessation of live exports will continue to be significant in the medium to long-term.