Australia signs live cattle export deal with China

Australia signs live cattle export deal with China

The Federal Government has signed off on an agreement to export live cattle to China, expected to deliver up to $2 billion a year to the Australian economy.

Agricultural Minister, Barnaby Joyce, signed off on the animal health certification requirements yesterday, one of the key conditions to open up the live cattle trade.

It comes after Indonesia recently announced they were slashing live imports from Australia, accepting just 50,000 head of Australian cattle between for July to September.

Mr Joyce said the move is a breakthrough in live cattle trade negotiations and could eventually lead to one million head of cattle being exported to China each year within the next decade, effectively doubling the size of the current trade.

“It gives people a real sense… that we have a strong future in the protein market, for which live cattle are a vital part” Mr Joyce said.

Mr Joyce says he hopes to see the deal bringing up to $2 billion a year to the Australian economy from both breeder and live cattle exports to China.

Once the certificate requirements are signed off by China, Australian exporters will be able to begin working with Chinese importers to create a supply chain assurance system.

Mr Joyce said that exports could begin within weeks after appropriate safeguards were established.

“We can turn this deal around very quickly” Mr Joyce said.

Mr Joyce says the past five years have seen significant trade in breeder cattle between Australia and China, but a commercial agreement on live slaughter and feeder cattle would create a new market.

The Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council has supported the “much anticipated agreement” and believe it has significantly improved market diversification options for exporters and producers.

“The true potential of the China market is something exporters are very keen to explore with a steady stream of quality cattle as soon as possible,” Chief Executive, Alison Penfold said.

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Libby Dreyer
Libby Dreyer 1729 posts

Libby has worked as a Senior Journalist at National Radio News since February 2011. She graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Canberra in December 2010.

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