The Western Australian beef industry

Page last updated: Wednesday, 17 November 2021 - 11:49am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Key products and markets

WA produces cattle for live export and processed boxed beef for domestic consumption and export.

Almost two thirds of the 657 000 head of cattle turned-off in WA in 2016/17 (Figure 6) was processed in local abattoirs with the remaining 257 000 head exported live to various markets around the world.

WA produces high quality beef products suitable for restaurant and food service and has one of the highest compliance rates (92.3% in 2014/15) according to Meat Standards Australia.

High quality products (both grain-fed and grass-finished) are available and there is a growing interest for a certified organic beef industry.

WA also produces beef suitable for other uses including manufacturing specifications.

The main boxed beef markets supplied by WA include Japan, the USA, Korea and Indoneasia (Figure 4).

pie chart of top WA beef markets in 2016/17
Major WA beef export markets by volume in 2016/17 (Based on ABS data, DPIRD analysis)

Sixty five percent of the beef processed in WA is consumed domestically and the remaining portion is exported to more than 30 countries throughout the world.

WA’s diverse climate and production systems produce a range of beef products suitable for most market specifications. WA has a well-developed and sophisticated live export industry with a number of live export companies based in WA.

In previous years, WA has exported more than 350 000 live cattle per annum. WA is well placed to supply a diversity of cattle types and breeds to existing and emerging live cattle export markets.

The cattle exported meet a variety of specifications including light young bulls, steers and heifers (less than 350kg), slaughter-ready cattle (more than 450kg) and high quality breeding animals for beef and dairy.

Both Bos indicus and Bos taurus cattle are exported live from WA.

The main export markets for WA live cattle in 2016/17 were Indonesia, Viet Nam, Israel, Turkey and Malaysia (Figure 5).

pie chart of top WA live export markets by volume in 2016/17
Major WA live export markets by volume in 2016/17 (Based on ABS data, DPIRD analysis)

WA has a proud 100 year history in live exports and Australia is the most experienced and largest exporter of live animals in the world.

WA has an enviable clean animal health status and a world class individual animal identification and lifetime traceability (National Livestock Identification System) that allows the strictest biosecurity protocols to be achieved.

Contact information

Rebecca Butcher
+61 (0)8 9651 0540
Trevor Price
+61 (0)8 9166 4026