VITAL live export markets were put on show for northern WA cattle producers this month.
Station owners and beef industry representatives toured Indonesia and Vietnam as part of a delegation of 12 led by the Department of Agriculture and Food, to investigate further beef opportunities.
Live cattle exports from the region into Indonesia and Vietnam in 2013-14 were valued at $82.5 million and $6.9m respectively.
The delegation investigated potential new markets, business models and opportunities to attract investment into the northern cattle industry as part of the Northern Beef Futures (NBF) project, made possible by Royalties for Regions.
Kimberley Cattlemen's Association chairman, Kalyeeda station pastoralist and delegation member Peter Camp said it was important to connect first-hand with customers in these markets and be able to deliver important feedback and information to northern producers.
"It was a good experience, which gave us a better understanding of what they expect," Mr Camp said.
"It was worthwhile for feedback and gaining contacts in both countries."
NBF manager of market and supply chain development Manus Stockdale said the delegation visited feedlots, beef retail outlets, abattoirs and ports in Jakarta, Lampung and Ho Chi Minh City.
"The delegation gained first-hand insight into lotfeeding and processing cattle, market requirements and trends and future investment opportunities in Vietnam and Indonesia during the week-long visit," Mr Stockdale said.
"In Indonesia, the group toured abattoir and feedlot facilities near Jakarta and Lampung, South Sumatra.
"Delegates toured wet markets and supermarkets and met with Australian government officials and Meat and Livestock Australia regional manager Andrew Simpson.
"The group also met with KPMG in Vietnam and ANZ in Indonesia to hear about the local business environment and investment interest in the north Australia cattle industry."
Joe De Pledge, Mandora station, Broome, said the tour was about building relationships.
"For Asian business people it's all about relationships and getting to know each other," Mr De Pledge said.
"They want quality, well bred cattle with good temperaments for the feedlots.
"It was an interesting and very informative trip.
"The main thing we all took away, was the fact that both countries have a huge demand for cattle and beef."
Mark Bettini, De Grey station, Port Hedland, said it was eye-opening to see the vast amount of people and the scale of demand.
"We can never supply everyone, there is just so many people, which makes our product a premium-based product," Mr Bettini said.
"We have heard so much about the Indonesian wet markets and it was good to see it with our own eyes.
"The abattoirs were clean, modern and efficient.
"The experience was great, as you were able to see the whole supply chain and ESCAS in action."
Mr Bettini said the stand-out was how Vietnam was rapidly evolving as a live export market and was eager to learn.
The delegates viewed abattoir and feedlot facilities in southern Vietnam.
Mr Stockdale agreed Vietnam has the potential for growth.
"Ninety million consumers are increasingly wanting to consume beef as their incomes and standard of living improve," Mr Stockdale said.
"At the moment, about 80 per cent of beef purchased by the consumer is through wet markets, but there is a growing trend towards supermarket trade which means there are increasing opportunities for live cattle and boxed beef from WA.
"Vietnam offers a good complementary market to Indonesia."
as it takes slaughter-ready cattle and is particularly interested in sourcing Brahman-cross cattle."
As the market matures, importers are likely to take more feeder cattle."
The delegates findings will be presented in detail at the upcoming Northern Beef Futures Industry Forum in Broome on Wednesday April 29.