​Media Release

Historic cattle consignment arrives in China​

21 October 2015

The first consignment of Australian slaughter cattle has arrived in China, exported under new market access conditions agreed in July this year between the Chinese and Australian governments.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the 150 head of slaughter cattle exported by Elders travelled by air to Chongqing in China where all cattle were found to be healthy by Chinese authorities and placed into mandatory quarantine.

“The potential demand from China is for significant numbers of slaughter and feeder cattle each year,” Minister Joyce said.

“The fact that our first movement of live cattle to China has happened by air shows that ports on the coast are not the only areas close to this booming market.

“Inland cities can become genuine ports to overseas markets. This is part of the Coalition’s vision and plan for regional Australia. In this growing Asian economy the billions of people to our north are coming closer to regional Australia.

“While Australia cannot meet that demand overnight we can play a role as a reliable supplier of quality feeder and slaughter cattle. My hope is that this small consignment will show Australia is ready to play its part in meeting Chinese demand.

“It is great to see Elders, as an Australian exporter, developing its commercial relationships with Chinese importers and making the most of the market access conditions this government has developed—through the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (China FTA) and through the health protocols I signed with Minister Zhi Shuping. 

“The China FTA will eliminate the 10 per cent tariff on live cattle within four years of its entry into force—a move that will only further enhance the attractiveness of our live cattle to Chinese importers. 
“I want to recognise the efforts of the Chinese authorities in working with my department to finalise the many details necessary before a consignment of this nature can depart.

“Working together we have been able to satisfy China of the health status of our livestock and establish Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System compliant arrangements to ensure the welfare of the animals in the supply chain.

“This is a good example of the mutually beneficial trading relationship Australia and China have built over many years.”