Australian cattle industry eyes Chinese market

Updated: 2013-07-23 16:48


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BRISBANE -- The Queensland Government is hoping more Australian cattle will soon be exported to China as it seeks ways to stimulate the state's cattle industry, local media reported on Tuesday.

About 150 cattle farmers gathered in Mt Isa in Queensland on Tuesday for the Northern Beef Stakeholder forum, according to the Australian Associated Press (AAP).

Participants of the forum said the cattle industry is suffering from a state-wide drought and falling cattle prices due to a reduction in live cattle exports to Indonesia.

Queensland Agriculture Minister John McVeigh told AAP that he would hold talks with Chinese officials in coming months in a bid to boost the cattle trade.

"There needs to continuously be a real focus on the live cattle export trade into the likes of Indonesia and other Asian countries, " McVeigh told AAP following the forum.

"China has shown some interest for example. We don't want to become too reliant on any one market in the future."

Indonesia is Australia's largest live cattle market, with 260,000 Australian cattle exported to the country in 2012. In the same year, only 58,000 beasts went to China. Each year, China imports 100,000 tons of beef from Australia.