December 5, 2011
The MV Ocean Shearer departed the Darwin port Saturday (Dec 3) bound for Indonesia, with a record shipment of about 25,800 head of cattle.
The world's largest livestock carrier left Broome in Western Australia earlier in the week with nearly 9,000 head on board, and is currently being topped up with cattle from the Northern Territory.
Not only is it a record shipment in terms of numbers, but there are some record prices being paid as well, with some steers fetching as high as AUD2.25 (US$2.30) a kilogramme.
Fred Troncone, from Wellard Trading, says it's harder to source northern cattle at this time of year, and that's driving prices up.
"The onset of the wet season typically drives the prices up," he said.
"The average price for steers on the shipment is probably AUD2.15 (US$2.20) a kilogramme and obviously lower than that for heifers, but certainly some cattle have been purchased for higher than the average."
The previous record for a live cattle shipment was set in September this year when 24,683 head were exported to Indonesia.