A new report has identified Northern Australia’s live cattle and beef exports as having the highest growth potential into ASEAN nations – generating an annual unmet export demand of $A13 billion by 2025.

The Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) partnered with the Australia-ASEAN Chamber of Commerce (AustCham ASEAN) to identify and assess the key export opportunities for Northern Australian agri-food businesses in ASEAN markets.

The study considered all of the Australian agri-food products exported into the ASEAN region and assessed 15 as having the highest potential to deliver value for north Australian producers.  These products included: wheat, live cattle, beef, milk and cream powder, malt, table grapes, sheep meat, cheese, milk and cream, oranges, infant food preparations, rock lobsters, macadamias, avocados, and soybeans.

Following extensive market analysis, live cattle and beef emerged as the best-bet for north Australian producers, particularly in the standout export destination countries Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Executive Director of AustCham ASEAN Annette Tilbrook said the untapped export demand into Vietnam is around $A6.4 billion for live cattle and $A5.1 billion for beef.

“Vietnam offers a significant opportunity to northern Australian cattle and beef producers – with beef exports from Australia to double each year,” she said.

The report also identified avocados and macadamia nuts as being smaller bets because of their relatively high supply feasibility in Northern Australia, but low forecasted export demand from ASEAN – due to lack of market development and high product prices. However, both are expected to see significant growth in production scale in the long-term as they turn their attention to developing their ASEAN presence, creating valuable jobs in Northern Australia in the process.

CRCNA CEO Jed Matz said the opportunity to export into ASEAN is ripe for the picking if the industries can move to address the challenges and implement the solutions outlined by the report.

“This report calls for greater coordination across key Australian government agencies, industry groups and regulators in ASEAN Member States to address the regulatory impediments flagged by Australian producers like tariffs, quotas and broader market-access issues.

“It also calls on stakeholders across Northern Australia to prioritise and coordinate investment and development of key infrastructure assets, like abattoirs and to improve supply chains,” he said.

Other key recommendations include the need for researchers and industry to explore an export strategy for bovine genetic materials as a means of providing an alternative export product for Northern Australia producers and to develop a market research study for Australian macadamias in ASEAN.

Read the full report here.

Media enquiries 

CRCNA Communications Manager, Carla Keith 0499 330 051