LIVESTOCK continue to be transferred to the Eastern States in large numbers.
According to Ceduna checkpoint figures for 2020 (January-April), 696,200 sheep and lambs and 30,600 cattle have crossed the border.
The cattle figures surpass all years since 2010 (129,000) and 2011 (49,000), while sheep and lamb numbers also surpass all years except 2010 when more than one million head went east.
In April 182,400 sheep were transferred east from Western Australia, down from 274,300 in March.
Of the total, about 55 per cent were lambs and 45pc were adult sheep.
Young heifers and weaner stock have been the preferred cattle for Eastern States' buyers.
With green feed on the ground in New South Wales and southern Queensland, due to a break in the drought, demand for quality cattle for restockers has been high, although some buyers were happy to take whatever they can get for the lower price on offer than in the east.
Eastern states buyers are expected to remain in the WA market for the immediate future, unless processors such as Cedar Meats Australia, Victoria, have to close due to COVID-19 cases, which happened last week affecting the number of sheep the company purchased at Muchea during the weekly sale.
Ray White Livestock, Albany, has also been active in the market since opening last month, bidding on pens for customers in the Eastern States as well as WA.
p The cattle trade from WA into the Northern Territory and vice versa continues to be strong with about 30,000 head crossing the border, each way, each year.
Data from the NT Department of Primary Industries and Resources (DPIR) shows that a total of more than one million head of cattle have crossed the NT/WA border in the past 17 years, since 2002.
The majority of cattle have been transferred from the NT to WA totalling more than 567,510 head according to waybill records held by DPIR.
The average was 33,382 head of cattle since 2002.
Statistics for movements both ways from 2019 and 2020 have not been officially finalised due to the timing and delays of returned waybills.
DPIR said the "numbers may be overestimated due to consecutive movements to the final destination of the same cattle".
"While we don't have any data available on whether the cattle were intended for live export, to be sold locally or on to an abattoir, it is highly likely that the majority of cattle were inter-property movements and/or destined for live export," DPIR said.
Up until 2008, the flow of cattle was mainly NT to WA, while after that the balance in direction was about equal.
More than 458,010 casttle have departed WA to the NT, with an average over 17 years of 26,941.
In 2016 the highest number of cattle to cross from WA to the NT was recorded at 71,507.
These statistics are separate from the Ceduna checkpoint figures.