July 20, 2011


Australian cattle producers face financial difficulties



Australian Northern Territory cattle producers said many are experiencing financial devastation as there is no sign of the Federal Government giving cattle export permits to Indonesia before the wet season ends later this year.


A few companies which said they could guarantee where animals would be slaughtered were hoping to export cattle almost straight after the government announced it would reopen trade.


But it still has not happened, almost two weeks since the ban was lifted.


The Territory Cattlemen's Association's Luke Bowen said producers are trying to work out what they will do if they are not able to earn export income this year.


"It is possible that only 30-40% of the historic trade may go this year," he said.


"This leaves 60% or more which need to go somewhere else, or need to be held on properties if it is physically possible to do so, and financially possible to do so.


"So the road ahead is looking worse than what we have come through so far."


Bowen said the problems facing pastoralist would compound quickly if cattle could not be moved during the dry season.


"You are at the time of the year when you are normally selling cattle and that is the time when you get income, but there is no income coming in," he said.


He said the next two to three months will be crucial to get the flow of cattle moving again.

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