Live cattle exports lower as supplies tighten

16 August 2016

Highlighted in the latest edition of LiveLink, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) have reported a 21% decline in live feeder and slaughter cattle exports for the January to July period – at 628,635 head.

Retaining the position as Australia’s largest market for live cattle (feeder and slaughter cattle), shipments to Indonesia for the January to July period totalled 345,513 head – down 15% on the corresponding period the year prior. Reports suggest Indonesian feedlots have recently started to apply for trimester three (September-December) import permits.

Additionally, shipments to Vietnam (feeder, slaughter and breeder cattle) were estimated at just over 138,300 head for the January to July period – back 46% on the same time last year. Interestingly, live cattle (breeder) exports to China so far this year have reached just over 45,200 head – up 64% year-on-year – driven by an increase in demand for beef breeders.


Reduced northern cattle availability and strong competition throughout physical markets saw live export indicators continue to move higher in July:

  • Delivered to Darwin, live export feeder steers averaged 335¢, up 11¢ month-on-month. Prices have continued to strengthen in August – reaching as high as 345¢/kg lwt.
  • Delivered to Townsville, live export feeder steers gained 9¢ month-on-month, averaging 315¢ in July.

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

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