Live cattle trade eases in first trimester

17 May 2016

As indicated in the latest edition of LiveLink, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and Department of Agriculture and Water resources (DAWR) reported a decline in live feeder and slaughter cattle exports so far this year (January to April) – with shipments down 11% on the corresponding period last year, at 371,218 head.

Despite lowering 13% year-on-year in the first trimester (T1 – January to April) live cattle exports to Indonesia remained Australia’s largest market, with just over 192,200 head exported. The Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture have reportedly signed off on technical recommendations made for close to 250,000 head of feeder cattle to be allocated for the second trimester, with the Indonesian Ministry of Trade issuing import permits in early May.

Shipments to Vietnam (feeder, slaughter, breeder cattle), were estimated to have surpassed 90,000 head for the January to April period. Between October 2015 and February 2016, the ABS did not disclose feeder and slaughter cattle trade data to Vietnam, China and Japan. The relevant data over this period was aggregated into the “Unknown” category, however it is understood the majority of cattle were destined for Vietnam.

The northern Australian wet season came to a close at the end of April, which saw increased cattle availability and lower live export prices towards the end of the month and into May.

In April;

  • Live export feeder steers delivered to Darwin averaged 303¢ – back 60¢ month-on-month, although still more than 10¢/kg lwt dearer than the year prior.
  • Feeder steers delivered to Townsville decreased to a similar extent on the previous month, averaging 283¢ in April – although still 70¢/kg lwt higher year-on-year.

To view the latest edition of the LiveLink, please click here.

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