More than this

Livestock | 9th May 2023 | By Matt Dalgleish

Market Morsel

All three top destinations for Aussie live cattle exports have underwhelmed us in April with monthly volumes all running below the five-year average seasonal pattern across Indonesia, Vietnam and China. This places total live export volumes for April 2023 in a pretty lacklustre position easing by nearly 3% from levels seen in March to record just 46,006 head of cattle transported offshore.

April 2023 is ahead of the volumes seen during April 2022 by 21%, but that’s nothing to crow about as these current levels are still 38% under the 74,000 or so head you would expect to see in April, according to the five-year average for this time in the year.

A summary of the top three offshore players in the Aussie live export cattle trade, Indonesia, Vietnam and China (whom, when combined, represent nearly 83% of total flows so far in 2023) is as follows:

  • Indonesia – hit the skids over April with a 50% drop from the 35,000 odd head sent in March. There was 17,321 cattle exported to Indonesia from Australia in April which is about half what you would expect to see traded over the month, based on the last five years of trade flows.
  • Vietnam – managed an impressive 170% gain on the March 2023 volumes, but March was a significantly low hurdle to overcome at just 3,552 head. April saw 9,580 head of cattle exported from Australia to Vietnam and despite the large percentage gain seen these levels still represent volumes that are about 21% below the five-year average for April.
  • China – saw 7,160 head of Aussie cattle shipped in April, up 25% from the levels seen in March. Despite the increase over April the current trade to China still sits nearly 13% below the five-year seasonal average level for April.

Please note – at the time of publication some live export cattle flows from Australia to Indonesia over April 2023 were not reported. These flows will be updated in a subsequent publication.


  • Cattle
  • Beef
  • Live cattle
  • Live export
  • Exports
  • Trade