Author Topic: "At times poor quality animals, which had been pushed into the trade."  (Read 4220 times)

WA Export News

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"At times poor quality animals, which had been pushed into the trade."
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2013, 10:53:07 AM »
Chinese dairy deal scrapped     

WELLARDS Rural Exports will not honour signed contracts for about 2000 Friesian dairy heifers destined for live export to China.

On Monday, Wellards began advising farmers and agents it wouldn't take possession of the heifers, from properties in Victoria and South Australia.

Many of the farmers had reluctantly renegotiated a lower price or a later delivery date with the company a few weeks ago after Wellards experienced problems meeting the original deal, believed to have been signed in November for up to $1400 a head.

 Some farmers have been feeding heifers, which they believed had been sold, for more than two months.

A spokesman for Wellards, based in Western Australia, said it had become unviable to take the heifers due to changes in the Chinese market.

"The more we went into the figures and spoke to Chinese buyers, it became clear it wasn't feasible," the spokesman said. "We need to reset our China business."

A Victorian agent who had to advise clients this week that the deal was off said it was a terrible outcome, especially for dairy farmers who had been banking on the sale for cash-flow and bill payments.

Heifers that had been on the original Wellard contract at up to $1400 would now, based on current buying activity, command just $900-$1000.

"Of course these farmers are bitterly disappointed, but they are a big company and there is a not a lot people can do," he said.

The agent, who did not wish to be named, said the problems of the dairy heifer trade to China couldn't be just blamed on live export companies, but on the extreme prices and, at times, poor quality animals, which had been pushed into the trade.

"A lot of people will want to blame the exporters and have a go at Wellards, but the reality is everyone, farmers and agents included, have over-cooked the industry and got too greedy," he said.

The Weekly Times understands there are limited orders for China at present, the Indonesian, Malaysian and Pakistan markets are continuing to operate.

Jenny Kelly |  January 16, 2013

« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 10:55:46 AM by WA Export News »