Media Release

Beef exports recovering after six years of Labor neglect

6 June 2014

Significant increases in cattle, beef and veal exports are demonstrating that under the Coalition Government, Australia is once again open for business.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the latest figures show that things are looking up after years of Labor neglect and sabotage of the meat and livestock industries.

"While ongoing drought conditions have been a significant challenge for a lot of farmers in recent times, increased access to global markets driven by this government, is contributing to rising farmer confidence which is also translating into more production and better returns to rural communities," Minister Joyce said.

"During my time as Minister, we’ve seen a 129 per cent increase in live cattle exports. We exported 699,000 head between September 2013 and April this year.

"During the same period, our beef and veal exports increased by 17 per cent with over 768,000 tonnes leaving our shores.

"As a result of our increased trade, farmers at the local saleyard have seen the average price per kilogram for cattle increase from 291 cents a kilogram in May 2013 to an average of 336 cents a kilogram last month. This 15 per cent increase is boosting our combined agricultural industries and helping our farming families.

"This growth can be attributed to government negotiations and extensive work to open markets in Egypt, Bahrain and most recently Iran, not to mention the unparalleled reputation of the high quality product we grow in Australia.

"During this time, the combined efforts between government and industry have resulted in the value of our beef and veal export market increasing 30 per cent under this government, now worth a staggering $4.1 billion and growing.

"Not only have we improved our reputable Australian export brand, but our farmers are seeing greater economic returns to the farmgate which remains the government’s highest priority.

"The live export trade delivers much needed jobs and builds prosperity in many rural and regional communities right across Australia, not only for producers but also for workers and small businesses alike, which all rely on the trade to earn a living," Minister Joyce said.