Territory Stories

Budget Paper No5 Northern Territory Economy 1998/99



Budget Paper No5 Northern Territory Economy 1998/99

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Tabled Paper 382


Tabled papers for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT




Tabled by Michael Reed


Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




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estimated at around 100 000 head per year. It is expected that the new protocol will allow live cattle exports from parts of the Territory and Queensland, including the use of export facilities at Darwin. This may open another window of opportunity for Territory pastoralists. Similar opportunities also exist to market the Central Australian British breeds of cattle to the Middle East and Egypt (in 1997 some cattle exported live to Egypt were sourced from Central Australia). As a consequence of the problems affecting the live cattle export trade at present, producers and the processors in the pastoral industry are being encouraged to diversify. To this end, the Territory Government is: working with cattle producers to encourage a more diverse and flexible industry by trialling new grazing techniques at the Sturt Plateau; promotion of breeds and breed management practices that provide producers with greater capacity to sell into either the live cattle trade, the interstate trade, or the boxed beef trade; extension of the Pastoral Water Enhancement Scheme to increase flexibility of management, stock carrying capacities and profitability; and the domestic licensing of abattoirs for export to provide an alternative market for Territory beef producers. Australias beef exports in 1997 were not significantly affected by the currency deprecations in South East Asia. However, beef consumption is forecast to decline in the region due to higher consumer prices and greater competition from pig and poultry meats. As a result, Territory beef exports to these regions are forecast to be lower in 1998. Australian beef exports to the United States, Japan and South Korea are expected to increase in 1998. The Territory beef industry is expected to benefit from this growth. However, greater competition in this market is expected from other countries, particularly the United States, and possibly Argentina and Uruguay. OTHER LIVESTOCK INDUSTRIES The Territory has a number of other livestock industries, supplying eggs; poultry meat; pork; buffalo and camel meat; fresh milk; live exports of buffalo, deer, horses, camels and pigs; and crocodile skins and flesh. In 1996-97 the gross value of other livestock industries was estimated at $15 million. This was a similar figure to 1995-96. The main change was in the crocodile industry where, although there was an increase in sales of crocodile flesh, sales of crocodile skins were markedly reduced due to lower market prices. MIXED FARMING In recent years mixed farming around Katherine, the Douglas/Daly and Darwin has focused on servicing the live cattle export industry. As this industry has grown, the demand for land for fodder production for cattle resulted in land used for grain cropping being converted to fodder crops. In the coming year, it is expected that some land will be converted back to grain cropping as the demand for fodder for export cattle eases. The area of field crops under irrigation has also expanded in recent years. Pasture seed production expanded in response to demand between 1995-96 and 1996-97. The estimated value of pasture seed production increased from $0.1 million to $0.8 million over the period. In addition, the estimated value of hay production increased from $1.8 million to $5.2 million over the same period. This increase was due to the strong growth experienced in the live cattle export industry over that period. 57 Rural Industries and Fisheries

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