AUSTRALIA - Wellard, Australia's largest livestock exporter, expects to start exporting beef cattle to China by March next year.
The company this month received its first Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) approval for China and hopes to initially send 3,000 head to the Asian nation.
They expect their shipment will be preceded by a boatload of cattle from the rural trading company Elders, the first of its kind.
Wellard business development manager Scott Braithwaite said given the blue tongue restrictions, their cattle would initially be sourced from southern Australia.
"For that time of year, the cattle are going to have to come out of the south of Australia, below the blue tongue line," Mr Braithwaite said.
"There is the availability for cattle to go into the north of China, into the cold end of China in their winter, our summer, which means you can take cattle from a blue tongue area for slaughter out of the north of Australia up to China.
"What happens then is that it's 40 degrees [Celsius] in Australia in December and at the moment, it's -16 [Celsius] in parts of China, where they would be importing cattle, so you wouldn't be taking the northern cattle up there.
"I think to start, the primary sourcing will be out of southern Australia, so out of Fremantle, Adelaide, Portland, Geelong and maybe eventually New South Wales when they get their infrastructure together."
Mr Braithwaite said the Chinese live cattle market could be considerable for Australian cattle producers.
TheCattleSite News Desk