Townsville agent Tom Kennedy, Elders live export Queensland manager, with cattle sourced from northern Australia headed to China for processing.

Northern slaughter cattle loaded for China

THE first shipment of live northern Australian slaughter cattle to China was loaded out of Townsville yesterday.

The consignment of 1600 crossbred cattle has been prepared by the North Australian Cattle Company (NACC) and is scheduled to discharge in China's Zhejiang province after a 10-day voyage.

Sourced from 22 northern Australian producers, the cattle are predominantly Santa Gertrudis and Droughtmaster with a sprinkling of Charolais over Brahman, plus some Brangus.

They made 285 cents a kilogram, which represents a 15c/kg premium over current export orders in Queensland.

Townsville agent, Tom Kennedy, Elders live export Queensland manager, said the trade represented a welcome new market for northern beef producers.

NACC, bought mid last year from Elders by its managers and Chinese outfit Zhoushan Fanda Australian Cattle Industrial, has had the potential of the emerging China slaughter cattle trade in its sights since export agreements were struck between Australia and China in 2015 alongside the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement.

“Given that export agreement applies specific conditions on the export of cattle sourced from Australia’s bluetongue zone, this week’s shipment of northern cattle is a significant breakthrough and testament to the enterprising nature of Australian livestock exporters,” the Australian Livestock Exporters Council (ALEC) said.

“In addition to the professional stockman on board, and the team of livestock workers who are members of the Bison Express crew, an Australian government accredited veterinarian (AAV) will be on board throughout the voyage.”

Following two air freighted trial consignments, NACC sent the first sea shipment of slaughter cattle to China early last year from Portland, Victoria.

Wellard Limited then sent a 2000 steer shipment in November.

Both were sourced from Victoria and South Australia.

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