Live Cattle Exports up 14 per cent

AUSTRALIA - Australian live cattle exports finished 2007 at their highest level in four years, as very strong demand contributed to record shipments to Indonesia, according to figures released by Meat and Livestock Australia.
calendar icon 13 February 2008
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Meat & Livestock Australia

Exports for 2007 totalled 723,072 head – up 14 per cent year-on-year, with increased shipments for the year also recorded to Mexico, Brunei, the Philippines and Libya.

Indonesia received a record 520,521 head during 2007 – surpassing the previous calendar year record set in 2002 (429,615 head) by 21 per cent.

Exports for 2007 also jumped 35 per cent on 2006, with exports up year-on-year for every month, with the exception of May and November, MLA said.

The record shipments in 2007 were primarily due to very strong demand from Indonesia, as feedlot capacity increased and consumer demand surged. A steady supply of suitable cattle out of Northern Australia assisted the record volume.

Despite a 54 per cent year-on-year decline in shipments, Israel remained Australia’s second largest market for live cattle, receiving 36,895 head. Malaysia was a close third for the year, with 35,018 head – back 38 per cent year-on-year. While the Philippines was one of the few larger markets to record an increase for the year, increasing 55 per cent, to 20,370 head, shipments were still well below the volumes recorded in the late 1990’s.

Exports for the year to Japan declined four per cent, to 21,083 head, while shipments to China (8,785 head) and Saudi Arabia (16,254 head) decreased 11 per cent and 41 per cent, respectively.

Dairy cattle exports during 2007 reached 46,665 head – up 40 per cent on the previous year, with Mexico remaining the largest market, with 22,167 head. Large dairy cattle shipments during 2007 were also sent to Russia (6,975 head), Kuwait (4,479 head), Saudi Arabia (4,463 head) and Turkey (2,838 head).

Total live cattle exports for 2007 were valued at A$516 million FOB – averaging A$716/head.

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