KARUMBA Livestock Exports Pty Ltd (KLE) has hit the ground running for the 2013 live export season, with their first shipment from Karumba this year leaving the Gulf live export facility recently and another due to leave in early April.
The facility was purchased by a Northern Territory consortium in 2010, and new owners Sid Parker, John Kaus, Stan Collings and Dean Ryan all have connections to the NT-based live export company, South East Asian Livestock (SEALS).
With the shallow draw of the Karumba port allowing only smaller live export vessels (to 2500 cattle) to load there, the Karumba facility has not been very much affected by the downturn in the live export trade. As a matter of fact, company director John Kaus (pictured) told the North Queensland Register the company had shipments booked for Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia over the next few months.
"We have a very healthy program for Indonesia for the next quarter, with 16,000 head booked into the Indoneaian quota," he said.
There is also a shipment of bulls and steers heading for Malaysia, ex Darwin, next week. Mr Kaus said the most difficult part of the live export trade these days was to implement all of the Export Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) regulations.
Many in the industry are saying some of these regulations are quite impractical and there is hope within the industry that if there is a change of government, these regulations will be assessed for their practicality.
"It has become quite costly we have two blokes whose job is to continually travel to abattoirs and cattle facilities in Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Indonesia doing appraisals and advising clients on animal welfare standards laid down by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) as well as abattoir training and assistance," Mr Kaus said.
But it appears that where there is a will there is a way, and the live export companies SEALS and KLE have adapted to the new regime of livestock exporting and have a busy year ahead.