In Brief: A Real-Time Export Price Indicator to Improve the Northern Beef Industry

The Northern Territory livestock export industry now has an official barometer of the market with the recent launch of the Live Export Price Indicator (LEPI) by the National Livestock Reporting Service of Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA NLRS).

The Livestock Price Indicator is a rolling 14 day average of the price paid for 280kg to 380kg of feeder weight live male cattle from Northern Australia distributed to Indonesia via the Port of Darwin.

LEPI will be reported in cents per kg live weight in AUS, similar to how cattle are traded in the live export market. Market data would be released every second Tuesday for the previous fortnight.

The indicator was developed by MLA NLRS with the Northern Territory Livestock Exporters Association (NTLEA) with input from producer representatives such as the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association and the Northern Australia Beef Research Council.

“The NT now represents approximately 10% of the total national cattle herd, so the live animal export industry needs to have a measurable price indicator available from an independent source rather than relying on anecdotal information,” MLA general manager Jason Strong said.

Mr. Strong said LEPI will provide critical, timely and independent information to support the export industry live and drive more informed business decisions through connected data.

“Consultation with livestock exporters who provide their data to the NTLEA and provide regular updates on the performance, accessibility and accuracy of the indicator,” Mr Strong said, has been critical to the process. .

NTLEA CEO Tom Dawkins said he was grateful for the input from exporters and producers over the past 12 months in building the indicator with the Meat and Livestock Association.

“LEPI represents a new benchmark in data-driven market reporting for Northern export supply chains and, clearly, exporters are uniquely positioned to report price data for trade in live,” Dawkins said.

He added that accurate market information is very much in the interest of exporters, given that they actively buy and sell livestock on a daily basis and maintain relationships with producers in Australia and importers in Indonesia.

The LEPI is the first new indicator that MLA’s NLRS has had in seven years, the latest being the Western Young Cattle indicator which was launched in June 2015.

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