Author Topic: Australian sheep exports to the Middle East stalled until further notice  (Read 623 times)

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Australian sheep exports to the Middle East stalled until further notice
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2012, 10:23:45 PM »
 19.09.2012 Live sheep shipments from Australia to the Middle East are effectively stalled and there is no certainty about when they might resume.

 Several exporters have shipment applications with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry waiting for approval, but a timeframe on when and if that occurs is impossible to determine.
 
Alison Penfold is the chief executive officer of the Australian Livestock Exporters Council.
 
"There are a number of applications to export to Middle East markets. We are working with the government to provide them with some additional information that they've sought. This follows from recent significant delays and incidents that have occurred with a couple of consignments up into that region and so the department are now seeking some further assurances so that they have confidence that the incidences that have occurred recently are unlikely to occur again."
 
Industry sources have revealed there is a vessel off the coast of Fremantle Port waiting for export approval before it docks to be loaded.
 
"We are all clock watching on this. We are as frustrated and concerned that these applications have not yet been approved, we are obviously working with the department, the regulator to ensure those shipments can leave as soon as possible."
 
"I understand that there are discussions going on at all times of the day. I think there is a difference in views between the exporters and the department on the risk profile of a number of countries."
 
She said DAFF is seeking a number of things from the exporters since Bahrain rejected the 21,000 Australian sheep based on concerns about scabby mouth.

"First of all the countries to which we export are reconfirmed to the memorandum of understanding and they have sought some additional assurances around contingency planning."
 
She can not confirm when the next live shipment of sheep will depart Australia.
 
"There is a lot of effort going into getting a ship on the water into a market that we believe is a strong and reliable market and will accept future shipments without any issue."
 
The PGA says you'd have to go back to the wool stock pile days, when farmers were destroying sheep that had very little commercial value, to fully appreciate the current set of circumstances facing WA sheep producers.
 
Uncertainty over the future of the live export trade, reduced prices in the saleyards and dry seasonal conditions are all working against farmers who run sheep enterprise.
 
Digby Stretch chairman of the Pastoralists and Graziers Association.
 
"Confidence is absolutely rock bottom, personally I was up late last night just reviewing budgets and slicing $20 or $30 off all our sale sheep for the next year, that's not much fun, considering we already have 30 per cent knocked off the wool price as well."
 
"I go back to the wool stockpile days and times when we ended up having to destroy sheep that had very little commerical value, nothing wrong with the sheep, but nobody wanted them and there wasn't enough space to do anything with them."
 
He said it is possible that we could be facing a situation where farmers are forced to shoot sheep.
 
"That's a conversation that people will be having around their kitchen tables in houses and homesteads and sheep yards all over the country, it's not somewhere we will be wanting to be going at all but that can eventuate it certainly can."
 "It's time for the leaders out there to stand up and be counted and in the leaders I'm talking about the Minister for agriculture, I'm talking about trade, I'm talking about commerce, we need Emerson, we need Rudd we need something serious going on here. There's a multi billion dollar industry being belting around in Australia that needs support badly from the top level of Canberra."
 
"We're needing DAFF to be told that this is an important industry and you are going to cripple people if you sit on your hands for too long because you're not quite sure what sort of paperwork ought to be organised to get these boats back on the water again."
 
Tony White is a farmer from Myaling, 50 kilometres north east of Moora.
 
75 per cent of his farm is cropping and the rest made up with merino sheep and beef cattle.
 
He tweeted "Sheep prices in free fall in WA and I know it is not an over supply issue. Can anyone tell me what is really going on?"
 
He's frustrated that the information is not forthcoming from the industry and it makes decision making on farm very diffiuclt.
 
"As a producer I feel frustrated that we're not getting it clearly and I'm not sure why whether the government is protecting themselves or the exporters are or what's happening or they're worried about it blowing up in their face."
 
"If we can get clear information we can start making better decisions on farm."
 
"We need to understand which way the government is going to move, if they're going to move suddenly like they have with the cattle game it's going to create a lot of problems."

http://www.abc.net.au/rural/wa/content/2012/09/s3593805.htm?site=perth

« Last Edit: September 19, 2012, 10:46:20 PM by WA Export News »