KUWAIT Livestock Transport and Trading (KLTT) - Australia's largest buyer of live sheep - has sold its twin-tier livestock vessel the Al Shuwaikh for an undisclosed amount.
KLTT's Western Australian subsidiary, Rural Export and Trading WA managing director Mike Gordon said a Jordanian company, Al Delta Company, purchased the vessel about two weeks ago.
The Al Shuwaikh was due to be phased out from the Australian trade because of new marine orders that prohibited twin-tier vessels from operating in Australia beyond January 1, 2020, without an exemption.
Until now the vessel did have an exemption but it was only used for sheep.
A clause in the paperwork was discovered only when it was pointed out to the company by agriculture department officials, that denied them the ability to load cattle on deck five, costing KLTT $1million per voyage from WA.
Mr Gordon said the 34-year-old Al Shuwaikh was "due to be retired".
He said the company would continue to service Australia "for the foreseeable future" with its two remaining vessels, the Al Messilah and the newly-purchased Al Kuwait, the world's largest livestock carrier.
Mr Gordon said the vessels would be spaced to run back-to-back trips from September 16 to May 30, 2021, until the northern hemisphere summer moratorium prohibited trade to the Middle East (June 1 to September 15).
The company would also divert the vessels to South Africa when needed.
Two other twin-tier vessels had been servicing the Australian market - the Maysora and the Bader III.
Livestock Shipping Services, which owns these vessels, had cut the upper deck from the Bader III but decided to utilise the vessel in other markets.
Farm Weekly understands that the company has applied for an exemption for the Maysora to continue to service Australia in the short-term, however it's last known position was off the coast of north-west Africa.