​Media Release

Beefing up our cattle industry in the Territory

23 March 2018

  • Minister opens 34th Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association Annual Industry Conference
  • The gross value production for Australian beef was $13 billion last financial year
  • Australian beef is exported to around 80 countries

​Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud visited the NT this week in support of its vibrant beef industry at the 34th Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association Annual Industry Conference.

Opening the conference in Alice Springs Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud said the Northern Territory was perfectly placed to seize growing international demand for Australia's world-leading beef.

​"Australian beef is the best the world has to offer and the international appetite for it is increasing," Minister Littleproud said.

"More than $13 billion runs through regional cities and towns across Australia thanks to the success of the beef and cattle industry—employing tens of thousands of people.

"In the Northern Territory alone there are over two million head of cattle representing 9 per cent of the national herd— worth more than $560 million to the local and national economy.

"Live export trade options continue to grow and the Territory's beef farmers are well placed to make the most of our FTA gains for boxed and chilled meat.

"In fact 11,000 tonnes of beef were exported from the Territory in 2016-17 worth $54 million. Only three years ago very little beef was being exported from the Northern Territory.

"A total of 338,046 feeder slaughter cattle were shipped from the Northern Territory in 2016-17— representing 41 per cent of the national total.

"Income and population growth, combined with urbanisation and a limited ability to expand local beef production continues to support demand, particularly in South East Asia and Indonesia.

"Opportunities in the international market are growing rapidly and we need to put ourselves in a position where we can grab them with both hands.

"The Territory beef industry is in a strong position and the outlook is even better. It represents everything we are aiming to achieve in rural and regional Australia as farmers, as communities and as a nation."

Fast facts

  • Australia's beef industry is worth over $13 billion to the economy representing almost a quarter of Australia's farm production
  • Beef exports were valued at $8.5 billion in 2015-16 and live cattle exports contributed a further $1.25 billion
  • The beef industry is one of our major export earners with Australia shipping beef to around 80 countries in 2016-17 
  • Since 2016, the government has struck trading deals with 65 countries across the globe
  • While prices for live feeder slaughter cattle are forecast to fall in 2017-18 to $1,194 per head, they remain close to the record average set last year (2016-17) at $1,261 per head