Media Release

One million exported and counting

6 July 2014

Combined efforts between the Australian Government and industry, including extensive work to reopen and improve market access, has resulted in the export of over one million head of Australian cattle since September 2013.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, welcomed this milestone as an important demonstration of the Australian Government delivering on its election commitment to improve farmgate profits through reinvigorating trade, including the livestock trade.

“Since my appointment as Minister for Agriculture we have seen a 129 per cent increase in live cattle exports, contributing to a sector worth $892 million (September 2013-April 2014). Between September 2013 and July this year just over a million head have been exported, up 54 per cent compared with the same period last year,” Minister Joyce said.

“Getting one million over the line is a great achievement within the first 10 months of this government, as we help bolster an industry still recovering from the previous government’s suspension of the trade in 2011.

“We must remember that at the heart of Australia’s live export trade are the producers, workers and small businesses and their families that rely on the trade for jobs and growth of their rural and regional communities.

“This government has a strong sense of responsibility for rural Australia and for repairing Australia’s livestock export industry and our relationships with key trading partners. We continue to work on free trade agreements which should achieve better access and export results for Australian producers of all commodities.”

Increased trade has meant farmers at local saleyards have seen the average price per kilogram for cattle increase from 276 cents in April 2013 to an average of 316 cents per kilogram in April this year, a 14 per cent increase going to producers at the farmgate.

This good news for Australian producers is closely followed by record levels of lamb and beef exports for 2013-14, surpassing previous results from 2012-13. Latest figures indicate lamb exports rose by 13 per cent to 226,306 tonnes for 2013-14, with beef and veal export volumes hitting an all time high of 1.18 million tonnes in 2013-14, up 17 per cent on last year.    
 
“We are sending a clear message that Australia is open for business and that this government remains steadfast on delivering on our election commitments for a strong, profitable and well regulated livestock export sector and tangible benefits to producers at the farmgate.”