Demand from South East Asia has seen the number of permits for April-June exceed the entire previous year
To put it in numbers: Indonesia has released import permits for 273,000 cattle for delivery between April-June. This is more than was allocated for all of 2013*.
On top of this the markets from Vietnam and China are also growing.
To handle this increase, it is possible that Northern exports will be using ports as far south as Brisbane in order to deal with the high volume of imports.
If this were to happen it would depend on a number of things such as:
- Shipping times: the Port of Brisbane already has a steady stream of shipping trade. They roughly ship between 10-20 thousand Wagyu cattle per year to Japan.
- The price of cattle
- Infrastructure and cattle type
The challenge of the next three months
Shipping out 273,000 head of cattle to one destination, and with other permits to fill, is going to be a significant challenge for exporters. The ports in Darwin and Townsville face some congestion issues, which is another reason for the exporters to look to load vessels further south along the east coast.
That is, IF the east coast offers the opportunity to access and load cattle more swiftly than the congested ports of the North.
Live export is on the up
Australia leads the world in the livestock exports.
This is because of how well companies, like AUSTREX, look after their livestock from farmer to purchaser. Exporting livestock properly ensures that the livestock arrives at their destination in good health.
If high volume import orders from countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam continue as strongly into the second half of the year, the ports in the South East could well see a rise in the number of cattle they export.
Whether this is a good thing or not, remains to be seen. All the livestock industry can hope for is that these numbers either stabilise or continue to rise.
*Stats and information taken from: Beef Central 9/4/14 https://bit.ly/1nnszEG