New LiveCorp study explores the northern cattle export industry's impact on the economy

Brandon Long
By Brandon Long
Updated January 27 2022 - 5:00am, first published January 26 2022 - 6:00am
NEW STUDY: LiveCorp's new live-ex economic study is updating and building on an economic analysis from 2018. Photo: LiveCorp

Live-ex industry body LiveCorp has initiated a study on the northern cattle export industry's impact on the Australian economy.

LiveCorp CEO Wayne Collier said the project would provide a detailed economic analysis to put some rigorous numbers around the value of live exports, and to help policy makers and the community understand its contribution.

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"This project will help to articulate ways the trade impacts not just those directly involved, but communities in northern Australia generally," Mr Collier said.

"It will look at areas such as employment, land values and infrastructure, as well as cattle prices and revenue."

The analysis aims to provide information on benefits, broken down to the regional level, including the economic value generated by live cattle exports out of northern Australia, the number of properties selling cattle for live export, the proportion of revenue retained by cattle producers, and how the trade supports cattle prices.

LiveCorp CEO Wayne Collier. Photo: LiveCorp

It will also investigate full-time equivalent employment on and off-farm, and the impact of live exports on support services such as veterinary practices, livestock transporters and feed mills, including the proportion of business revenue generated by the trade.

Mr Collier said live exports were an important part of Australia's livestock and agricultural sectors, particularly in northern Australia, which supplied the majority of cattle exported from Australia.

"Many northern cattle operations are set up to meet the requirements of South-East Asia, and live exports are their primary source of income," he said.

"The industry provides employment in rural and regional communities, adds value to the national economy, and creates competition for Australia's meat processing sector which supports cattle prices."

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The project is being conducted by independent economics, policy and strategy advisory firm ACIL Allen, and is funded by the Livestock Export Program, a collaboration between LiveCorp and Meat and Livestock Australia.

The project will update and build on an economic analysis conducted in 2018, which found the northern live cattle trade was worth an average of $1.2 billion annually (2012-17) and supported more than 2000 on-farm employees and a total national workforce of 10,000.

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Brandon Long

Brandon Long

Queensland Country Life journalist

Brandon Long is a Queensland Country Life journalist based in Toowoomba.

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