Aussie cattle exports to Indonesia and Vietnam show improvement

Australian cattle exports totalled 55,127 head in October, 26 percent below the five-year-average for the month and about 10,000 less than October 2022.

Exports to Indonesia showed some improvement, rising to 35,375 in October, up from 22,836 in September.

The October shipments to Indonesia were 13 percent below the five-year-average for the month, and down on the 43,446 exported in October last year.

Shipments to Vietnam maintained the stronger levels of the past six months, totalling 12,712 head, a rise on 10,163 in September, and well over the 2488 head shipped to Vietnam in October 2022.

Australian live cattle export industry sources told Beef Central this week they expect December to be a fairly substantial month for exports to Indonesia, as flood plain cattle become available and boarding of feeder cattle begins for Indonesia’s Ramadan and Lebaran celebrations in March/April 2024.

November and December are also expected to be reasonably active months for supply to Vietnam in preparation for the Tet festival in early February 2024.

Exporters had been reporting increased willingness by northern producers to sell at recent lower prices, but widespread rain across eastern states of Australia in the past two weeks has reduced some seasonal pressure to sell, and added renewed upward pressure to northern cattle prices.

Pricing for feeder steers is understood to be in the 260-270c/kg range in Darwin. Prices for cattle for Vietnam in north Queensland had been around 230c to 240c levels  before the market kicked with recent rain.

There were no cattle exports recorded to China in October, with Israel (6019 head) and Malaysia (1031) the only other markets to receive cattle from Australia for the month.

Port volumes saw 15,316 head exported from Darwin, 21,306 from Townsville, 8829 from Broome, 6019 from Fremantle and 3351 from Wyndham.