Author Topic: Vic sheep exports stall  (Read 761 times)

Export News Tasmania

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Vic sheep exports stall
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2012, 07:35:04 PM »
VICTORIA'S live sheep industry is being bypassed.

A surge in supplies in South Australia and Western Australia has resulted in shipments of sheep slow from Portland this year.

From January to April, only two live sheep shipments left Portland.

Just 12,000 sheep left in March and 55,000 in April, or 67,500 for the year. This is just 31 per cent of the 217,613 sheep sent in the first four months of last year.

In comparison, more than 116,000 sheep have left the Port of Adelaide so far this year, and 679,452 from Fremantle, a jump of 88,150 from WA alone.

The new Export Supply Chain Assurance Scheme and exporters' ability to meet the requirements was being blamed for the lack of Victorian exports. However, freight and logistics advantages - costs - influence whether ships head east.

ESCAS animal welfare requirements came in on March 1 this year. But Australian exporters still sent 20 per cent more sheep in April than at the same time last year.

Statistics show the major buyers in April were Turkey, Qatar and Kuwait, with most sheep sent from Fremantle.

Australian Livestock Exporters Council chief executive Alison Penfold said it was pleasing that exporters had embraced ESCAS and sheep were still being exported.

"Sheep are still going out, and ESCAS has simply meant there are a lot more regulatory requirements which must be met," Ms Penfold said.

It's estimated there is a $10-$15-a-head freight advantage for exporters loading out of Western Australia, compared to Portland.

But Victorian producers are still selling sheep to the live trade.

HF Richardson and Co Ballarat livestock manager Bernie Nevins said producers who wanted to supply live sheep were sending stock to Adelaide.

Producers were paid $105 for sheep landed in South Australia. This was still $10-$15 higher than current mutton markets, Mr Nevins said.

"It does cost $5-$6 to send them to Adelaide but the advantage is still there," he said.

"The whole trade has gone very quiet out of Portland, with only little lifts coming out occasionally."

Mr Nevins said exporters were talking up the prospect of more live sheep shipments from Portland in the next few months.

"It's an economics thing and if they can get them over in Fremantle or even Adelaide, it's cheaper for the exporters," he said.

Fiona Myers |  June 20, 2012

« Last Edit: June 09, 2014, 11:31:51 AM by WA Export News »