Livestock exporters welcome strong 2014-2015 trade figures

* Cattle exports rise 22pc to 1.38 million head, worth A$1.35 billion
* Darwin our largest port, shipping 615,062 cattle worth A$532 million
* Sheep exports rise 9pc to 2.18 million head, worth A$244 million

NEW figures released this week confirm that Australia’s livestock export industry is enjoying a period of sustained growth which is delivering significant flow-on benefits to the rural sector and the broader national economy.

Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council CEO Alison Penfold said the positive results, based on the 2014-2015 fiscal year, reflected strong ongoing demand for Australian livestock in existing markets, as well as the development of newer trading opportunities.

“Australian exporters and livestock producers have a reputation as the world’s leading suppliers of high quality cattle, sheep and goats, backed by a supply chain which boasts unrivalled animal welfare standards,” Mr Penfold said.

“Exporters and producers are being rewarded for their hard work with these positive trade results and as access to new markets is improved, coupled with the industry’s ongoing commitment to animal welfare, ALEC is confident the livestock export industry has a bright future.”

The 2014-2015 figures, released by Meat & Livestock Australia and LiveCorp, showed that Australian live cattle exports reached 1.38 million head (up 22 per cent on 2013-14), with an overall value of A$1.35 billion FOB (freight on board).

Indonesia was Australia’s largest live cattle export market, taking 746,193 head, up 20pc year-on-year and was valued at A$601 million FOB. Indonesia accounted for 54pc of total Australian live cattle exports in 2014-15.

In 2014-15, the second largest market for Australian beef cattle was Vietnam, taking 309,505 head (up 136pc on 2013-14), valued at A$328 million FOB.

Darwin was the largest live export port in 2014-15, shipping 615,062 head, which were valued at A$532 million FOB. Townsville (296,945 head) was the second largest port in 2014-15, followed by Fremantle (131,951 head).

Dairy cattle exports decreased 21pc in 2014-15, to 73,355 head, worth A$167 million FOB. During 2014-15, China remained the largest dairy cattle export market, taking 62,643 head, back 20pc year-on-year, and was valued at A$142 million FOB.

In 2014-15, Australian live sheep exports totalled 2.18 million head, up 9pc on 2013-14, and were valued at A$244 million FOB.

The Middle East accounted for 97pc of Australian live sheep exports for the 2014-15 fiscal year. Kuwait remained the largest market for Australian live sheep in 2014-15, at 616,842 head, back 19pc on 2013-14, and was valued at A$66 million FOB.

The largest export state for live sheep during 2014-15 was Western Australia, shipping 1.78 million head, worth A$189 million FOB. The second largest export state was South Australia (325,242 head), followed by Victoria with 57,801 head.

Australian live goat exports for 2014-15 reached 90,950 head, up 12pc on 2013-14, and were valued at A$9.6 million FOB. During 2014-15, the largest export market for live goats was Malaysia, at 87,991 head, up 45pc year-on-year, which accounted for 97pc of total exports for the fiscal year.

South Australia was the largest export state for live goats in 2014-15, exporting 44,541 head, valued at A$3.7 million FOB, followed by NSW, shipping 39,027 head, valued at A$4.2 million FOB.

Ms Penfold said the results were particularly timely given the livestock export industry is preparing for its national conference, LIVEXchange, in Darwin on November 25-26.

LIVEXchange 2015 will be provide a rare opportunity for over 300 producers, exporters, international customers, logistics suppliers and other trade services and stakeholders to come together under one roof to discuss, debate and network on key issues confronting the Australian live trade’s future.

This biennial event is a partnership between ALEC, LiveCorp and the Northern Territory Livestock Exporters Association (NTLEA). Registrations are now open at www.livexchangeconference.com.au

(The full MLA/LiveCorp livestock export report for 2014/2014 is available here.)

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