Australian Record Live Cattle Exports to Indonesia

AUSTRALIA - A record volume of live cattle shipped to Indonesia during 2007-08 underpinned a 14% rise in total exports for the fiscal year, hitting a five-year high of 769,890 head.
calendar icon 8 August 2008
clock icon 2 minute read
Meat & Livestock Australia

According to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, while Indonesia dominated shipments for the year, taking 71% of total exports, shipments were valued at A$540 million – up 9% year-on-year.

The combination of very strong consumer demand in Indonesia and ample live cattle supplies out of northern Australia boosted cattle exports to Indonesia for 2007-08. Exports for the past year increased 21% year-on-year, to a record 547,189 head, exceeding the previous fiscal year record of 491,601 head set in 2002-03.

Despite the 21% increase in volume, export returns to Indonesia for 2007-08 only increased 13% year-on-year, to A$342 million FOB, as the higher value of the A$ against the Indonesian rupiah dampened returns. The value per head for 2007-08 averaged A$624/head, back 7% on 2006-07 (A$670/head), with the A$ averaging 16% higher against the rupiah, at 8,293 rupiah.

Further growth in shipments to Israel throughout 2007-08 saw it maintain its position as Australia’s second largest live cattle market, with exports increasing 8% year-on-year, to 58,980 head. Exports for the fiscal year also increased to Mexico (25,969 head), the Philippines (15,615 head), Kuwait (4,808 head) and Brunei (5,955 head).

While the increase in shipments to Indonesia attracted most attention during 2007-08, there was also a sharp fall in volumes to some of Australia’s larger markets, namely Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and China. Shipments to Malaysia declined 49% for the year, to 26,868 head – the lowest fiscal year result since 1993-94, as Australian cattle faced increased competition from lower priced meats. Exports to Saudi Arabia declined 43% year-on-year, to 14,810 head, while shipments to China slipped 44%, to a five-year low of 6,755 head.

Darwin remained the busiest port for 2007-08, loading 355,000 head, followed by Fremantle (123,608 head), Broome, (84,138 head) Portland (57,096 head) and Wyndham (34,662 head).

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