China cat­tle ex­ports damp­ened

Countryman - - NEWS - Jenne Bram­mer

Aus­tralia’s hopes of cap­tur­ing a huge mar­ket for live slaugh­ter cat­tle in China have been damp­ened be­cause of tough and ex­pen­sive pro­to­cols re­quired by the Mid­dle King­dom.

De­spite early hype about the huge op­por­tu­nity avail­able to Aus­tralia when the two coun­tries signed a his­toric free trade agree­ment in 2015, slaugh­ter cat­tle ship­ments to China have ground to a stand­still.

Ru­ralCo chief ex­ec­u­tive Travis Dil­lon said its live ex­port com­pany, Fron­tier, made three ship­ments to China from Aus­tralia dur­ing the past fi­nan­cial year, but had no other plans in the pipe­line. “The China mar­ket has been very slow to take off and the pro­to­cols of ex­port­ing cat­tle into China make it dif­fi­cult and ex­pen­sive at both ends,” he said.

“When the op­por­tu­nity presents we will be keen to do that, but in the mean­time will re­main fo­cused on In­done­sia and Viet­nam.”

Har­mony Agri­cul­ture manag­ing di­rec­tor Steve Meer­wald re­cently said he would put cat­tle ex­ports to China, orig­i­nally the main fo­cus of the com­pany, on the back seat and in­stead fo­cus on do­mes­tic pro­cess­ing. Wel­lard also has no ex­plicit ship­ments to China sched­uled, de­spite the prospects of this mar­ket last year be­ing the linch­pin of its re­cov­ery plan.

Wel­lard head of China ini­tia­tives Kanda Lu said a ma­jor ob­sta­cle was a re­quire­ment to slaugh­ter the whole ship­ment within 14 days, cre­at­ing op­er­a­tional pres­sure and mar­ket­ing un­cer­tainty for the im­porter.

He said the whole in­dus­try was ap­peal­ing to the Chi­nese Gov­ern­ment to start feeder cat­tle im­ports and to re­move this re­quire­ment. Ad­di­tion­ally, im­ported cat­tle still at­tract 11 per cent value added tax.


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