‘Don’t panic’ over live ex

This is not a surprising outcome. The Australian government’s unilateral ban on exports earlier this year, without communication with their Indonesian counterparts, caused great humiliation to the Indonesian government, and heavy losses to Indonesian feedlots and abattoirs, most of whom were innocent of wrongdoing. It’s payback time.

Of course, within a year they will realise they cannot be self-sufficient by 2014 and the trade will pick up again. It will create some softening in the market for a time, which will be to customers’ advantage.

From Queensland Country Life

AUSTRALIA’S beef industry is still absorbing the news that Indonesia will drastically slash live cattle imports in 2012.Indonesia media reported last night that live cattle exports out of Australia would be cut from the current 520,000 head to 280,000 head next year.

Indonesia will also limit the boxed beef it buys from overseas to 34,000 tonnes. Last year, Australia exported 48,500 tonnes of boxed beef to Indonesia.

The country’s Agriculture Minister Dr Suswono has indicated that the Indonesian Government’s plan to be self-sufficient in beef by 2014 is behind the shock move.

Dr Suswono denied the move was in retaliation to the Australian Government’s decision to halt the live-ex trade to Indonesia for one month in June, while animal cruelty allegations aired on ABC Television were investigated.

Australian Live Exporters Council chief executive Lach McKinnon said it was not the time to react hotly to the overnight decision.

“We don’t have the details yet, once we get those it will determine how we react,” he said.

“We were never expecting a cut in the quota as big as this. It’s a big cut and we’re going to have to manage this as best we can once we know the details.

“We’re going to have to work pretty hard to work out our approach in light of this news. It’s a shock and it’s certainly not something the industry needs right now. We’re going to have to work bloody hard to fix it and work out where we go from here.”

Mr McKinnon said his organisation had no prior warning of the Indonesian decision. He was also still waiting to hear from Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig’s office when contacted by farmonline.com

“We heard news of this through the australian media just like everyone else,” he said.

“So my advice to beef producers is don’t panic, we still don’t know all the detail, but as we’ve seen over the last six months this is a very resilient trade. If there’s an industry with a never-say-die attitude it’s definitely ours.”

The Cattle Council of Australia president, Andrew Ogilvie, who has just returned to Australia after a week-long trade mission with Mr Ludwig to North Asia, said Indonesia’s decision had dealt the industry a huge blow.

”Industry is pretty disappointed that there has been a reduction but we recognise Indonesia’s determination for self-sufficiency,” he said.

Both Mr Ogilvie and Mr McKinnon said they did not believe the decision was in retaliation to Australia’s suspension of trade in June.

While acknowledging the industry would rally, Mr McKinnon has also told the ABC that any drop in exports would be a massive blow to the cattle industry in the country’s north.

”It’ll put us under a lot of pressure and we’ll have to work very hard to get through this,” he said.

”It’s like any of these particular trade issues – it’s about government to government and working through what it is both parties want to get.”

Indonesia’s decision comes on top of the Labor Party’s recent national conference which rejected a push to phase out live cattle exports altogether.

Nationals Leader Warren Truss says Indonesia may have just beaten Labor to the punch in destroying Australia’s live cattle export industry.

Mr Truss speaking in Bundaberg this morning said the recent ALP Conference vote (215 to 173) narrowly saw a temporary reprieve for the live trade, but showed that the dogmatic determination of those within Labor’s ranks to kill this important industry was alive and well.

“Given Julia Gillard’s botched handling of live beef exports to Indonesia and Labor’s ongoing risk to supply, the Indonesian government has retaliated by accelerating moves towards self-sufficiency and phasing out Australian supply entirely within a couple of years,” Mr Truss said.

“This is the ongoing fallout from Labor’s original mess. Cattle producers across northern Australia will be gutted by this news. They, along with numerous small businesses that rely on the trade, have just endured a disaster at the hands of an inept government’s over-reaction.

“It means the uncertainty businesses, families and entire communities have been suffering through will now continue until the live beef trade to Indonesia simply dries up.

“It’s a $320 million a year hit to the Australian economy, but now pushes an entire industry to the brink of collapse.”

An Agriculture Department spokeswoman said last night import quotas were a matter for the Indonesian government.

”The Australian government remains committed to the live export trade,” the spokeswoman said. ”Over recent years there has been considerable variation in the number of permits issued.

”The Australian government will continue to work with the Indonesian government to support this mutually beneficial trade.”

 

‘Don’t panic’ over live ex – National Rural News – Livestock – Cattle – Queensland Country Life.

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Reprieve for exports, but Labor gunning for kill – National Rural News – Livestock – Cattle – Queensland Country Life

A great shame that a certain Party, founded by shearers over a century ago,  has such antipathy for this vital rural industry. It employs thousands of people in Australia’s North and is one of the biggest employers of indigenous people in the country. Why the supposed party of the Working Man has thrown its lot in with the Latte Set is a mystery.

The ALP member for Fremantle is half right, beef is not an everyday commodity for Indonesian consumers, but there is not  snowball’s chance in hell of Indonesia being self-sufficient for beef. The country is smaller than Queensland, more than 2/3 of the land is swamp or mountain, and it supports over 200 million people. If the live export trade ceases, they won’t buy Australian boxed beef, it is more likely to be frozen Indian water buffalo that fills the market niche, and it won’t be a 1:1 substitution. Indonesians hate frozen meat in general.

From Queensland Country Life

Reprieve for exports, but Labor gunning for kill

10 Dec, 201103:00 AM
FEDERAL Nationals Leader Warren Truss said Labor voted for a temporary reprieve for the live cattle trade at its weekend conference.But the 215 to 173 vote result showed that the “dogmatic determination of those within Labor’s ranks to kill this important industry is alive and well”.

Mr Truss said there was “no doubt” the live export critics would return to haunt cattle producers of northern Australia.

“One of the most frustrating things from the ALP Conference was the sheer bloody-minded ignorance of those opposing the live trade, many seriously suggesting live cattle could be replaced with chilled meat into live cattle markets,” he said.

“In Indonesian, for example, there are 240 million people and over 90 percent of households do not have refrigerators, meaning there is little demand for chilled boxed meat.

“Boxed meat into Indonesia is the premium end of the market and limited.

“They must buy fresh meat from local wet markets if families are to eat meat at all.

“Chilled meat comes at a higher price… they can’t afford it and they don’t want it.”

Mr Truss said experience showed when live export markets are halted – such as the ban on cattle to Egypt or sheep to Saudi Arabia – demand for boxed meat does not rise because live trade meets very specific needs.

“Again, in these markets we are often talking about rural villages where refrigeration simply does not exist,” he said.

“If these people are serious about animal welfare then banning the Australian trade is the last thing any thinking person would support.

“Banning Australia’s involvement undermines the very means of affecting the attitudinal and behavioural changes necessary to see sound animal welfare practices become the norm.”

Mr Truss said Australia remained the only country in the world actively working to improve animal care in markets.

He said Australia needed use our influence as a major supplier to insist on the highest quality animal welfare reform.

Abandoning what has been achieved to date, along with our premier place in the market, we also abandon our authority to demand better animal treatment, he said.

“Those demanding the industry be shut down are ignoring the realities of foreign marketplaces and the means by which change can be driven, while also damning businesses, families and entire communities across northern Australia in the process,” he said.

“It’s a proposition steeped in ignorance and, I suspect, those peddling it play on that fact.”

But Fremantle Labor MP Melissa Parke who raised the weekend’s ALP motions on the live export trade and animal welfare, said the argument that Australian protein was helping to feed poor Indonesian villagers who did not have electricity to power fridges and freezers and needed to buy fresh meat daily from wet markets, was a furphy.

She said most people buying Australian beef in Indonesia were from the middle and upper classes and the tourism businesses who are selling it back to Australians in hotels or restaurants.

“You are not talking about poor Indonesians missing out on their protein because they can’t get Aussie beef,” she said.

“I absolutely do think that’s a furphy.

“I think it’s for the benefit of Australian cattle producers to diversify their options.

“Last year Indonesia unilaterally reduced the weight limit for cattle to 350 kilograms, thereby stranding farmers with all this cattle with no market to go to.

“And Indonesia has declared it wants to be self sufficient in cattle by 2014 so an alternate plan has to be developed.

“We’ve seen it in the Middle East – consumer sentiment is changing and many more people now are going to the supermarket to buy frozen and chilled meat from Australia rather than buying it from the fresh markets.

“The international trend is towards the frozen and chilled meat industry and away from live exports.

“It’s just going to keep going in that direction and we need to prepare for that and get those processing facilities up and running.

“Hundreds of them have closed down over the last 20 to 30 years since the live export trade has been operating.

“If we are serious about wanting to value add in this country, if we are serious about local content being important then we have to value add here.

“We have to process here and that will create many more thousands of jobs than exist with the live export trade.”

“Those demanding the industry be shut down are ignoring the realities of foreign marketplaces and the means by which change can be driven, while also damning businesses, families and entire communities across northern Australia in the process,” he said.

“It’s a proposition steeped in ignorance and, I suspect, those peddling it play on that fact.”

But Fremantle Labor MP Melissa Parke who raised the weekend’s ALP motions on the live export trade and animal welfare, said the argument that Australian protein was helping to feed poor Indonesian villagers who did not have electricity to power fridges and freezers and needed to buy fresh meat daily from wet markets, was a furphy.

She said most people buying Australian beef in Indonesia were from the middle and upper classes and the tourism businesses who are selling it back to Australians in hotels or restaurants.

“You are not talking about poor Indonesians missing out on their protein because they can’t get Aussie beef,” she said.

“I absolutely do think that’s a furphy.

“I think it’s for the benefit of Australian cattle producers to diversify their options.

“Last year Indonesia unilaterally reduced the weight limit for cattle to 350 kilograms, thereby stranding farmers with all this cattle with no market to go to.

“And Indonesia has declared it wants to be self sufficient in cattle by 2014 so an alternate plan has to be developed.

“We’ve seen it in the Middle East – consumer sentiment is changing and many more people now are going to the supermarket to buy frozen and chilled meat from Australia rather than buying it from the fresh markets.

“The international trend is towards the frozen and chilled meat industry and away from live exports.

“It’s just going to keep going in that direction and we need to prepare for that and get those processing facilities up and running.

“Hundreds of them have closed down over the last 20 to 30 years since the live export trade has been operating.

“If we are serious about wanting to value add in this country, if we are serious about local content being important then we have to value add here.

“We have to process here and that will create many more thousands of jobs than exist with the live export trade.”

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Reprieve for exports, but Labor gunning for kill – National Rural News – Livestock – Cattle – Queensland Country Life.

NZ’s Dairy Flood

It will be tougher for dairy producers in Georgia to compete with powdered milk imports this year than last year. Notwithstanding higher farmgate prices for fresh milk in winter as a normal seasonal trend, increases in efficiency are desperately needed to maintain competitiveness.

From The Queensland Country Life:

NZ’s dairy flood

02 Dec, 201103:00 AM
GLOBAL milk markets are poised for a big spill as the world’s biggest exporter, New Zealand, delivers record spring volumes and Northern Hemisphere consumers struggle to eat through expanding domestic stockpiles.Just when it looked like world dairy markets had recovered from the Global Financial Crisis price crash to establish a welcome pattern of relatively robust demand matched by healthy prices, China has begun easing back its import orders.

The huge US herd is also producing too much for its domestic market after consistently lifting production by about two per cent annually for much of the past decade.

Australian milk production is up too – set to rise another 2.2 per cent in 201112 to around 9.2 billion litres, while NZ production is on track to exceed 18b litres with a five per cent rise after a bumper spring.

NZ dairy processing giant, Fonterra, which is responsible for about 35pc of the world’s total dairy products export trade, has been swamped by farm milk deliveries this spring.

It now has its milk powder drying plants running at full throttle to make room for a king tide of receivals – as much as 82 million litres a day in the past two months.

The National Australia Bank (NAB) is forecasting the global surplus will trigger a seven per cent fall in international prices compared with 201011.

NAB’s agribusiness general manager, Khan Horne, noted that although global milk prices were now as much a 48.5pc above their average during the past decade, global demand had not kept pace with supply.

“The key question is who is going to absorb this surplus,” he said.

“A strong season in the northern hemisphere has resulted in a considerable exportable surplus and looking ahead, these market fundamentals point to further falls in the world dairy price during the year.”

Dairy Australia chairman, Max Roberts, said US production had been rising steadily in recent years, partly because of a wave of new growth outside traditional dairy States like Wisconsin and California – including big scale corporate dairy farms now in financial stress.

“Even a half a per cent of increased production in America represents a lot of milk – the US produces 85 billion litres a year,” said Mr Roberts, who farms on the NSW South Coast.

“Their domestic dairy products market is now full, which means even a few hundred tonnes of surplus cheese or milk powder pushed onto world markets at heavily discount prices sets a whole new price signal and starts the volatility cycle again.”

Reports from the US suggested some farms were bracing for price cuts of 30 to 40pc in the next 18 months.

However, while more global price volatility was looming in 2012, Mr Roberts said long term dairy demand and production trends suggested the world was still headed for a five billion litre milk production shortfall by the end of the decade.

Dairy Australia is even tipping some oversupply concerns will ease after April because China’s hunger for dairy products is not likely to see it restrict import activity for long.

Strategy and knowledge manager with Dairy Australia, Jo Bills, said China – the world’s biggest milk powder importer – was expected to absorb a lot of NZ dairy product after new free trade agreements between the two countries slashed tariff barriers in January.

NZ’s big spring and summer milk volumes would also settle down early in the year.

Australia’s big export cheese market to Asia and the Middle East was probably the area most vulnerable to any potential global price slump.

Market signals were not alarming at present, with global dairy prices dipping about two per cent in the past eight weeks, but also rebounding slightly on occasions during November.

Mr Roberts said while herd sizes in much of Western Europe were stable or even shrinking, some newer European Union member countries were lifting dairy production, which helped confuse market signals.

In Australia NAB noted that most of domestic milk volume increases were in northern and western Victorian, where production was up 11.4 and 5.5pc respectively, with a solid 10pc jump in Tasmania.