Australian live cattle exports are surging
In the first half of the 2018/19 financial year, the Port of Townsville has seen a record number of live cattle shipments. 32 ship visits, including a consignment of 19,000 feeder steers and heifers to Indonesia in August aboard Wellard's MV Ocean Drover, lead to almost 169,000 cattle head exported between July 1 and the New Year, informs ABC website.
According to the manager of trade and business development Maria James, the numbers are close to the total of 180,000 head recorded in the last fiscal year. "That is the biggest six monthly that we've ever had on record — a tremendous start — it's 80 per cent up on last year's", she said.
A similar surge in export numbers has been reported across the border in Australia's largest live export centre, the Port of Darwin. Poor weather condition in Northern Australia is one factor behind the surge in live cattle exports, explains Meat and Livestock Australia's Mick Kingham. "Some cattle are lacking weight to sort of even make feedlot weight, there's been a large exodus of cattle onto live export. It's been a pretty sporadic wet season despite all the rain on the coast, some producers are probably having their hands forced to relieve some of their country and get some cash flow". The main destinations for cattle exports from Port of Townsville are Indonesia and Vietnam.