Meat & Livestock News

Key Points

  • In August, live cattle exports witnessed a 22% year-on-year (YoY) growth, amounting to 54,650 head.
  • Vietnam’s imports surged by 224% YoY, reaching 13,947 heads, solidifying its position as Australia’s second-largest market.
  • Although 2023’s exports have surpassed 2022’s figures, they remain below historical averages.

Detailed Analysis

Despite facing significant challenges in August, the live cattle export numbers showed a promising increase. The growth of 22% from the previous year’s levels in August is in line with the upward trend observed throughout 2023, especially when compared to the subdued figures from 2022.

Indonesia’s Market Dynamics

The Indonesian government’s temporary suspension of four export quarantine yards in July had repercussions in August. These suspensions were only lifted earlier in the month, which inevitably impacted the export figures. Consequently, 24,470 cattle were exported to Indonesia, per the Department of Agriculture’s data. This temporary halt led to a 32% decline in exports from July. 

However, compared to the previous year, there was a 13% increase in exports, aligning with the consistent growth observed in 2023.

Vietnam’s Trading Patterns 

Vietnam’s imports in August marked a significant 224% YoY increase, with 13,947 head being the second-highest export total for the year. 

The trading patterns have evolved, with breeder cattle exports accounting for 27% of the total exports to Vietnam this year, the highest ever recorded. This shift has led to a decrease in feeder cattle exports, constituting 9% of the total volume, a drop from 27% in 2022. Slaughter cattle, however, continue to dominate, making up 64% of the total exports.

Future Outlook 

The live cattle exports in 2023 have been robust compared to 2022, yet they haven’t reached historical highs. The limited availability of cattle for export in 2022 was due to the ongoing herd rebuild and high farm retention. 

As the herd rebuild phase nears completion, the number of cattle available for export is rising. The growth in live export numbers indicates a solid demand for Australian cattle, suggesting that exports could further increase given continued market access.