Graziers: live export no competition

A LITTLE competition never hurt anybody but the region's graziers and primary producers are adamant live export out of Port Alma will not compete with high prices on offer in the Central Queensland beef industry.

While competition in live exports in the state's north is keeping cattle prices steady, further south it's a different story and graziers are not interested in the cheap offerings through live export.

AgForce regional state councillor and Calliope cattle producer Leo Neill-Ballantine.

AgForce regional state councillor and Calliope cattle producer Leo Neill-Ballantine said live export out of Port Alma would not be viable until the market met with prices on offer at the sale yards.

"Firstly I think it might be politicians blowing their own trumpet," Mr Neill-Ballentine said.

"If live export is fair dinkum they're going to have to pay the right prices.

"You can get more money at Gracemere sale yards than from live export for the same type of cattle.

"The same week and the same cattle, a 300kg steer brings in $3.70 a kilo at the yards so why would producers get $2.65 a kilo (through live export)."

The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator fell more than eight cents to 557 cents per kilogram, carcass weight, which followed a drop of 29 cents earlier this month but graziers say the figures are still higher than those offered at live export.

Despite the drop, prices are 240 cents higher than the same time last year and more than twice the low point of 278 cents in May 2013.

Rockhampton-based senator Matt Canavan said pressure on the live export market from high sale yard prices was a positive sign for the industry.

Rockhampton-based senator Matt Canavan.

"What is delaying exports of live cattle from Port Alma at the moment is the high prices being paid for cattle on competing local markets, which is great news for the industry," Senator Canavan said.

"Port Alma is an excellent alternative export facility for CQ cattle as and when it's needed.

"As far as timing is concerned, it is up to live cattle exporters to decide when cattle are sent from Port Alma."

The Coalition Government opened seven markets for live exports, including China, and signed four new free trade deals with Korea, Japan, China and the Trans-Pacific Partnership between 12 nations.