Thailand the latest market to open for livestock exports
11 December 2014
Australia’s livestock producers may soon benefit from increased competition for feeder and slaughter cattle and improved farmgate returns following the opening of another new market, Thailand.
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the opening of the Thai market for trade in Australian live feeder and slaughter cattle represented a significant new export opportunity for Australia’s livestock producers and further proof of the Coalition Government’s commitment to Australian agriculture.
“This is the fifth market we have opened this year and I expect the trade will bring mutual benefits to both our countries and will contribute to maintaining and strengthening our bilateral relationship with Thailand,” Minister Joyce said.
Thai and Australian government authorities recently reached agreement on animal health certification requirements for live feeder and slaughter cattle, providing the foundation for trade to occur.
Minister Joyce said industry estimates forecast 30,000 head in the first year of exports with excellent prospects for growth will be good news particularly for our northern Australian producers.
“Strong commercial interest both here and in Thailand provides good prospects that this trade will result in significant numbers of live cattle being sent.
“Now it is over to exporters to establish Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) arrangements to support appropriate animal welfare outcomes in this new market.
“Under the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement, signed by the former Howard Government in 2004, tariffs on feeder/slaughter cattle dropped to zero in 2009 so the establishment of health protocols represents the removal of a significant impediment to this trade.
“What this also shows is that this government is capable of not only signing free trade agreements, but building on them and delivering benefits in the long term.
“The opening of the Thai trade shows that the future for Australian beef and cattle is strong and I want to reassure our primary producers that we remain committed to our election promise to reinvigorate the trade and expand market access for our $1.4 billion livestock export industry.”
The first live cattle exports to Thailand are expected to commence in early 2015.