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Report highlights untapped opportunity for beef and cattle exports

30 October 2019

Joint media release with Senator for Queensland, Senator Susan McDonald, and Senator for the Northern Territory, Senator Sam McMahon

Northern Australia could be the hub for a substantial economic boost for the nation, with a new report from the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) and the Australian Chamber of Commerce in ASEAN finding that beef and live cattle exports to South East Asian nations could deliver up to $13 billion per year to our economy by 2025.

The report found demand for beef and live cattle exports would be greatest in Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia, with Vietnam holding the greatest potential, with exports of the two commodities to that nation potentially earning up to $11.5 billion by 2025.

The study, Capturing the ASEAN Agricultural Opportunity for Northern Australia, considered all of Australia’s agri-food products exported to the ASEAN region and assessed 15 having the best potential to deliver value to Northern Australia producers. The 15 include live cattle, beef, wheat, sheep meat, milk and cream powder, malt, table grapes, cheese, cream, oranges, infant food preparations, rock lobsters, macadamias, avocados and soybeans.

“This report shows the real economic potential of our north and the importance of supporting our world class agriculture sector,” Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said today.

“Our Northern Australia beef and cattle industry suffered when the previous Federal Labor Government shut it down, but it has been rebuilding and the opportunities are there for growth and export expansion.

“Opportunities in macadamia nuts and avocados have also been identified with significant job creating growth expected long term. The report also identifies other key opportunities like the need for an export strategy for bovine genetic materials.”

Townsville-based LNP Senator for Queensland Susan McDonald said the live cattle and beef industries were the lifeblood for many people in Northern Australia, and added these exciting potential export opportunities would provide competition and choice for a market.

“The report found beef and live cattle as best bets for Northern Australia producers with Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia as key markets,” Senator McDonald said.

“Producers are always looking for new opportunities and the untapped potential in Vietnam is great news. There is a growing consumer class driving this demand. Pointedly, the report also calls for regulatory impediments and market access issues to be addressed.”

CLP Senator for the Northern Territory Dr Sam McMahon heralded the report as great news for the NT, which relies hugely on the live cattle and beef industries to support the local economy.

“The Darwin Port manages almost 40 per cent of Australia’s live cattle exports. Territorians know the value of the beef and live cattle industry and news of new opportunities is a great shot in the arm for people,” Senator McMahon said.

“The opportunities across a range of different products are an opportunity for the Territory which is ideally placed to facilitate exports to the ASEAN region.”

Media contacts:

Minister Canavan's office 02 6277 7180

Senator McDonald's office 02 6277 3635

Senator McMahon's office 02 6277 3643