Live exports propping up agriculture

28 Jan, 2009 09:18 AM
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LIVE export, along with lamb prices, are proving to be the shining light for WA agriculture at the moment.

But while lamb prices are tipped to drop in the next month or two, it seems the live sheep and cattle export sector could be strong for some time.

Lower livestock numbers and a drop in the Australian dollar are driving the current demand.

WA Live Exporters Association chairman John Edwards said the supply of sheep numbers was more of a concern to live exporters than the global financial crisis at the moment.

"I think the lack of sheep in WA is really starting to bite the industry now," Mr Edwards said.

"No one can really put a figure on how many sheep are out there, but numbers would certainly be at historically low levels.

"That is the legacy of a couple of dry years, an earlier age turn off and more ewes going to slaughter in recent years.

"I would think we are actually consuming more lamb and sheep than we are producing at the moment."

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