World News 07/06/2014

Sheep prices up 63 per cent as new markets open

Sheep prices in Western Australia have risen by a massive 63 per cent since Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, opened the live animal exports trade with Bahrain in February.

“In late February I announced that livestock exports to Bahrain could recommence, in March that trade could recommence with Egypt and last week I announced that trade could begin to Iran. The Australian Government is sending a clear signal – we are open for business,” Minister Joyce said.

“Since the resumption in trade with these key markets, sheep prices in WA have risen by more than $34 per head – or nearly 63 per cent, according to Meat and Livestock Australia figures, the organisation charged with compiling the data.

“At the end of February saleyard sheep prices in WA were sitting on $54 per head, as at 30 May they are now $88 per head. This is fantastic news, particularly when you compare it with the end of May last year when the price was $56 per head.

“This is great news for sheep producers and for our live animal exports industry.

“A major priority for the Coalition Government is increasing the market opportunities for our Australian producers and we are certainly delivering on this.

“I fully support the live exports trade, the trade contributes significantly to the Australian economy and it’s just so important to our farming families.

“New markets are not just great news for our sheep producers; they’re also good news for our cattle producers and cattle industry.

“I commend industry for its work in pursuing business with new markets and also for re-establishing trade in former markets. They’ve done a great job of working to secure the growth of this very legitimate industry.

“It remains the responsibility of Australian exporters to manage livestock to meet the requirements of the Export Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) and ensuring that animals arrive in good health.

“I am pleased that under the ESCAS system, Australian producers and exporters meet international animal welfare standards that are unparalleled by any other nation.

“The live export trade underpins jobs and prosperity in rural and regional communities across Australia and the Coalition will always support producers and workers that rely on the trade,” Minister Joyce said.

di S. C.