28 Jun, 2013 03:30 AM
A live export ship being loaded with cattle at the KLE/SEALS facilities in Karumba.
GOATS will soon be exported live from the port of Karumba, cutting costs and travel times for western Queensland (Australia) producers.
Karumba Live Exports spokesman Sam Collings said AQIS registration had been in place for the past 12 months, but a lot of work had to be undertaken on yard alterations, changing feed troughs and the size of yards, before they could accept goats at the facility.
"As soon as the next order of goats comes in, I dare say they will be shipped out of Karumba," he said.
Most goats for the live export trade are sourced from western Queensland, making Karumba the logical place for shipping. To date, the facilities at Darwin have been the only ones registered for the goat trade.
Winton goat producer Ian Elliott made the trip to Darwin to deliver goats for markets in Brunei three times last year, and said he was looking forward to only travelling as far as Karumba.
As well as the lesser distance involved, it would cut out the need for spelling at Cloncurry on the way.
Mr Collings said South East Asian Livestock Services (SEALS) was investigating goat markets all through South East Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore and Brunei.
Mr Elliott said he had been supplying a market for young billies in the 30-40kg weight range. The boats are mostly mixed loads consisting of cattle and buffalo, as well as goats.
"It's a unique port and this is a great opportunity to go ahead and tap into new supply areas," Mr Collings said.
Being right on the water, ships are able to dock alongside the facilities.
Despite a halving in the number of cattle being exported from Karumba, from 20,000 in 2011 to less than 10,000 last year, the company is in the process of expanding yard capacity to give it holding room for another 600 head, on top of the current holding of 2400 head of cattle.
"The investment in the industry shows we have faith in it," Mr Collings said.
So far this year, fewer than 8000 cattle have been shipped from the port.
The majority of cattle being shipped this year have been feeder cattle, Brahman-cross steers and heifers in the 250-350kg weight range for Indonesia, and high-content Brahman PTIC heifers for Indonesia and Malaysia.