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Australia’s buffalo trade growing with large numbers exported to Vietnam

Australia’s buffalo trade growing with large numbers exported to Vietnam

CANBERRA: More than 5,000 head of buffalo were exported from the Northern Territory in 2015, making it one of the best years in the trade’s history.

Figures released yesterday by the NT Department of Primary Industry show the year was also Darwin Port’s second-biggest on record for live cattle exports.

A small number of buffalo were shipped to Brunei (625 head), but the majority were sent to Vietnam (4,468 head), which is a market expected to grow even further in 2016.

Michael Swart from the NT Buffalo Industry Council said despite a slow start and a lag towards the end of the year, shipments for slaughter-ready buffalo were strong.

“We haven’t had too many years better than that, that’s for sure,” he said.

“We probably could have seen a few more go in November and December, but we’re very happy with 5,000.”

Mr Swart said he expected buffalo exports to increase even further over the coming 12 months.

“I think we’ll see one or two extra players in the buffalo-buying market so hopefully that’ll bring a bit more competition,” he said.

“Last year it was predominantly SEALS (South East Asian Livestock Services) doing the exporting, but this year we could possibly see another two [exporters involved].”

While no slaughter-ready buffalo were sent to Indonesia in 2015, Mr Swart said there was strong demand for breeders.