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Australia, China ink $860 mn live cattle deal

IANS November 07, 2014 8:48 IST

Sydney: Australia is set to export one million live cattle to China each year in a deal worth more than 1 billion Australian dollars (860 million US dollars), a senior government minister announced Friday.

"It's a million cattle, worth 1 billion Australian dollars. The ink is not dry on the contract though," Xinhua quoted Australian government minister Christopher Pyne as telling Channel Nine.

"It's a great breakthrough. I mean this is the kind of thing that happens when you have a government that's focused on economic outcomes.

"So we have a free trade agreement with Japan, free trade agreement with South Korea, working on one with China."

Trade officials and Cattle Council of Australia representatives were in Beijing this week sorting out the final details on the deal.

Currently, Australia biggest export market for live cattle is Indonesia, which took about 625,000 of the 1.13 million head exported in 2013-14. The new deal will put China as the No.1 export market for live cattle.

China already buys Australian dairy and beef cows for breeding purposes, and took more than 78,000 head of dairy cattle and about 15,000 beef cattle last financial year.