Cattle exports move in May

20 June 2017

May exports were the largest monthly shipment of feeder and slaughter cattle this calendar year, at 77,000 head, underpinned by a significant increase in exports to Vietnam.

For the year-to-date however, feeder and slaughter cattle exports totalled 291,000 head, 37% below year-ago volumes, as highlighted in the latest edition of Livelink.

Cattle exports continue to be restricted by high prices and reduced availability, as well as a variety of in-market challenges. Vietnamese and Indonesian importers remain reluctant to enter the market with the high prices on offer.

While greater in May, high Australian cattle prices continue to limit shipments to Vietnam; year-to-May exports were 35% lower year-on-year, at 72,000 head.

Year-to-May shipments to Indonesia were back 21%, at 198,000 head, notwithstanding a modest increase in exports month-on-month. The presence of Indian Buffalo Meat (IBM) and supply limitations out of Australia remain prominent factors in reduced livestock exports to the region.

Current wet market prices for IBM in the Greater Jakarta area continue to vary and range from IDR 75,000-110,000/kg, while fresh beef trades at a premium from IDR 105,000-125,000/kg.

 Stability for sheep exports

 May sheep exports were 144,000 head, back on the previous month as a result of reduced shipments to Kuwait.

 May exports were low compared to April (195,000 head), when importers were preparing for Ramadan (26 May – 24 June). Year-to-May exports remain unchanged year-on-year, totalling 705,000 head.

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