Live exports lower

15 August 2017


Feeder and slaughter cattle exports were just below 40,000 head in July, as Australian livestock exports continue to be restricted by a variety of domestic and in-market challenges. For the calendar year-to-July, feeder and slaughter cattle exports were down 36%, compared with the same period last year, totalling 385,000 head.

Year-to-July feeder and slaughter cattle exports to Indonesia declined 33% year-on-year, to 242,000 head. High Australian cattle prices, the Indonesian government’s agricultural policy goal to achieve self-sufficiency for major commodities including beef, along with price stabilisation methods that has enabled the supply of Indian Buffalo Meat (IBM) are the prominent factors in reduced livestock exports to the country.

For the calendar year-to-July, it is reported that 55,000 tonnes of IBM has been imported into Indonesia, with Indonesian Bureau of Logistics (BULOG) holding permits to bring IBM imports by December 2017 to 110,000 tonnes.

Current wet market prices for IBM in the Greater Jakarta area continue to vary and range from IDR 80,000-110,000/kg, while fresh beef trades at a premium from IDR 115,000-120,000/kg. Recently, prices have remained stable despite in-market reports of increasing availability of IBM and higher prices for both local and imported cattle.

Cattle exports to Vietnam totalled 14,300 head, a 10% lift year-on-year. However, for the calendar year-to-July, shipments were down 23%, to 106,500 head. High Australian cattle prices are a contributing factor in the marked decline in number of live cattle being sent to Vietnam. MLA estimates 150,000 head to this market in 2017, with further reductions possible due to market instability and poor profitability.

Click here for further information Vietnam: Livestock export challenges in this emerging market


July sheep exports were 90,000 head, back sharply from the previous month as a result of no recorded shipments to Jordan. Demand from Kuwait and Qatar remained strong in July, with sheep exports totalling 45,000 and 35,000 head, respectively.

For the calendar year-to-July, sheep exports to Kuwait reached 338,500 head, a 3% decline year-on-year. Demand for sheepmeat in the Middle East remains strong, in particular from Australia.

Sheep exports to Qatar totalled 333,000 head for the calendar year-to-July, a lift of 10% compared with the same period last year. Demand in Qatar is being driven by preparations for the 2022 Soccer World Cup; significant numbers of expatriate labourers from the sub-continent are working on large construction projects across the country which has seen growing demand for imported product.


Total goat exports for the calendar year-to-July were 6,457 head, down 81% compared to the same period last year. The drop is due to the sharp decline in exports to Malaysia which has resulted from the seasonal reduction in supply and high prices of Australian slaughter goats, along with availability of cheaper goats from Thailand and Myanmar.


Click here for MLA’s new-look live export statistics summary for July

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