Brazil’s first live export shipment of cattle to Vietnam has reached its destination, with around 14,000 bulls getting unloaded overnight in the port of Thi Vai.

Key points:

  • Brazil’s first shipment of live cattle to Vietnam has arrived
  • The MV Nada was on route to Vietnam when Brazil halted its beef exports to China because of mad cow disease concerns
  • Despite the long distance, the cattle are expected to be price competitive compared to Australian cattle

The shipment has arrived during a complicated time for Brazil’s cattle industry, which is still dealing with fallouts from an outbreak of ‘atypical’ Bovine Spongy Encephalopathy (BSE) — commonly known as mad cow disease.

“There was definitely plenty of fear and reaction from everyone involved [with the shipment] when that BSE news came through,” said agricultural consultant Michael Patching.

“There were initial concerns the shipment may not be accepted, but the Vietnamese responded and changed to a one-port discharge, and we’ll have to wait and see how long the cattle stay in quarantine.”

Dr Patching said the journey took nearly 30 days, and early reports suggested a low mortality rate of cattle on the MV Nada of around 0.2 per cent.

He said cattle were already being sourced in Brazil for a further two shipments.

Vietnamese farmer moving cattle along the road

Record high cattle prices in Australia is putting pressure on the live export trade into Vietnam.(

ABC Rural: Matt Brann

)

What does this mean for Australia?

Brazil’s historic first shipment to Vietnam was being watched closely by the cattle industry in Australia.

Vietnam is Australia’s second-biggest customer for live cattle and imported close to 300,000 head last year.

“Live export markets [that take Australian cattle] are under pressure right now,” said Michael Patching.

“From reports coming in, the price of these Brazilian cattle are very competitive, they’re cheaper than Australian cattle.”

Vietnamese abattoir workers processing a carcass which is hanging from the roof.

There is strong demand in Vietnam for heavy male cattle.(

Supplied: MLA (file photo)

)

Dr Patching said Brazil’s push to export boxed-beef into Vietnam could potentially have a more significant impact on the market than a few shipments each year of live cattle. 

The cattle arriving from Brazil will not be subject to ESCAS, which is a mandatory animal welfare system used by Australia’s live export trade.

Posted , updated 

Brazil’s first live export shipment to Vietnam has arrived
Source:
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