The Northern Territory’s live export industry is off to a flying start this year with more than 30,000 head of cattle exported from Darwin during January.
Minister for Primary Industry and Resources, Ken Vowles, said the figures - more than double those of January 2017 – confirmed the high level of demand for Australian cattle overseas, and reinforced the need to invest in the industry.
“The NT Government knows the NT plays a central role in the nation’s live exports and has been promoting and investing in the sector accordingly,” Mr Vowles said.
“Live exports are a major economic driver and last year we fast-tracked an election promise to upgrade the Berrimah Export Yards. The $4.1 million project is almost finished.
“As well as creating jobs during construction, this incredible, world-class facility will see Darwin better placed as the supplier of choice for live cattle and buffalo export.”
Late last year Mr Vowles travelled to Vietnam with Tom Ryan from the NT Cattlemen’s Association and Louise Bilato from the NT Buffalo Industry Council. While there they met with government ministers and toured feedlot facilities.
“Our discussions showed there was real and growing demand for Australian cattle and buffalo, and the Territory has the capacity to help meet that demand,” Mr Vowles said.
“Take the Hao Phat Company near Hanoi and the Ket Phat Thinh Company near Ho Chi Minh City. They account for more than 70 per cent of Vietnam’s imports of cattle and buffalo, and they made it clear they could take up to 10,000 more buffalo a year from us.
“We want to grow our buffalo export market by working with Traditional Owners to secure access to the 150,000 buffalo roaming Arnhem Land, and we are developing Katherine as an agribusiness and logistics hub to increase our live export capabilities.
“The live export industry has had a great start to the year and we want to keep that momentum going.”