Ever sit in the window seat of an airplane and watch the luggage being loaded below deck? Imagine looking down and seeing crates of live cattle being loaded onto a flight. Such was the case for 150 Australian cattle aboard a Boeing Co. 747 cargo plane on its way to China.
In a Media Release, the Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce said,” the potential demand from China is for significant number of slaughter and feeder cattle each year. It is great to see Elders, as an Australian exporter, developing its commercial relationships with Chinese importers and making the most of the market access conditions this government has developed—through the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (China FTA) and through the health protocols I signed with Minister Zhi Shuping.”
Elders, who managed the first flight on October 20th, says flights are more ideal than transporting cattle by sea, because it allows them to get further into inland areas not just coastal ports and in a more timely manner.
As China moves toward more beef consumption, the demand for cattle has increased and in turn so has the price. A rise in the middle class has seen a rise in beef consumption over pork. Pork, once the main protein in Chinese diets, now accounts for less than 60 percent of meat consumption. It is definitely a huge opportunity that Australia plans to take advantage of.
Australian exporters are quickly making plans to supply China with beef, whether that be by air or sea.
West Australia’s, Wellard has profited from its proximity to Asia, and has ordered two ships to be delivered that will carry about 60,000 cattle a year to China. Also on board to profit from China’s beef appetite is Kuwaiti-owned shipper Rural Export & Trading who is awaiting its delivery of its three new ships that will carry up to 10,000 cattle in a single load.
This type of investment into China will hopefully see a return on investment for those eager to spend upwards of $80 million for ships and hopefully increase China’s imports from the U.S.