The Live Sheep Trade, Live Cattle Trade and Live Goat Trade | Livestock

Australia is the world’s leading supplier of high quality live cattle, goat and sheep exports to countries around the world, in particular the Middle East and Asia.Many countries across these regions do not have the resources or geography to efficiently produce enough livestock to feed their population. Australia meets the demand for essential red meat protein by exporting livestock for food production and breeding, as well as chilled and frozen meat products.Australia currently exports chilled and frozen meat to the countries we export live animals to. They are complementary trades that serve different needs for the range of consumers in these countries.In many of these countries, tradition, religion and lack of refrigeration means they need to import live animals, which mostly supply traditional markets.In these same countries, our chilled and frozen meat products are sold to five star restaurants, hotel chains and for manufacturing or further processing. Both trades work together to feed people in the countries we export to, and are not interchangeable.The live export of sheep, cattle and goats provides a strong return to the Australian economy – an average of A$1 billion a year in export earnings for Australia since 2005-06 – and a recent report by the Centre of International Economics (CIE) found that 74%, or A$742 million, of these earnings go directly to Australian livestock producers.The CIE evaluation confirmed the significant flow-on benefits exporting live sheep, cattle and goats provides to livestock producers and regional economies, as well as the importance of the live trade in providing producers with access to the broadest possible range of markets.It found that without the trade saleyard prices would be 4% lower for grass fed cattle, 7.6% lower for lambs and 17.6% lower for older sheep, confirming that Australia’s livestock export industry provides benefits for all producers.In 2010 Australia’s livestock export industry provided an important additional market for sheep, cattle and goat producers while underpinning domestic livestock prices.2.978 million sheep were exported to key markets across the Middle East through the live sheep trade during 2010. The largest market was Kuwait, taking 1,076,455 head, followed by Bahrain with 515,731.In 2010 Australia’s live cattle export industry maintained its momentum, exporting 873,573 head with a value of A$679 million. While this volume is 8% down on 2009 figures, the value of Australia’s live cattle exports increased by A$17 million, resulting in industry’s highest ever live cattle export earnings.The cattle trade to the Middle East grew significantly, increasing 134% on 2009 figures. 226,547 head were exported to the Middle East, with figures boosted by the reopening of the trade to Egypt and the establishment of the cattle trade to Turkey. 56,441 cattle valued at A$48 million were exported to Egypt following the reopening of the trade. Live cattle exports to Turkey began in September, with 66,002 cattle exported valued at A$55 million.Despite a drop in volumes as a result of the Indonesian Government’s decision to place greater scrutiny on import volumes and reduce the number of import permits issued, Indonesia remained Australia’s largest market for live cattle taking 520,987 head, equal to 56% of all Australian cattle exports, followed by Turkey and China.In 2010 81,014 goats were exported, contributing $10 million dollars in export revenue. Malaysia remained the strongest market for live Australian goats, taking 67,675 – 83.5% of the total Australian goat exports.