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Central QLD graziers enter live export market

Virginia Tapp, Friday November 1, 2013 - 16:29 EDT
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Australian cattle in an Indonesian feedlot - ABC

Live cattle exporters have started sourcing cattle from parts of Queensland that have never supplied animals to Indonesia before.

However, they're still struggling to fill the quotas set by Indonesia for this quarter, with much of Central, Western and Northern Queensland having already destocked due to the drought.

North Queensland livestock agent, Bram Pollock, specialises in sourcing cattle for the live trade.

He says boats have sailed out of Townsville without a full load of cattle on board.

"Prime cattle are very hard to find, feeder cattle have been a little easier to source with the light season.

"Exporters are chasing cattle a little further south than usual and rates are improving everyday."

Some graziers have been able to cash in on the exceptional situation.

A Rockhampton agent says it's a rare for his clients near Collinsville, North West of Mackay, to get a good deal by sending cattle to Indonesia.

Paul Wells says this kind of thing hasn't happened since the trade was temporarily halted in 2011.

One grazier on the Central Highlands has turned to the live export industry for the first time.

Deloras Sparrow of Tresillian station near Alpha says she took the export option because of the broad weight range Indonesia is now taking.

"There's more flexibility, the cattle we sold wouldn't have been suitable for the feedlot market which is where we normally sell to.

"The exporters were taking 350-650 kilogram animals, whereas the feedlot market is more restricted in weight it's about 420-520 kilogram weight range."

And Landmark have just released this week's live export prices for cattle to Indonesia.

Feeder and slaughter steers out of Townsville are both returning $1.55 per kilogram.

Prime heifers are making $1.35 per kilogram.

Out of the Port of Darwin, feeder steers are worth $2.10 per kilo, feeder heifers are making $1.90 per kilogram.


© ABC 2013

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