Australia's animal genetics exportation business is booming

Australian producers can now export a wider range of animal genetic material to Chile, Colombia and Mexico, in what is a growing global market.

“Australian exporters can now send sheep and goat semen and embryos to Colombia, and bovine semen to Chile — meaning our producers can now export all the major categories of ruminant genetics (cattle, sheep and goat semen and embryos) to both these markets,” said agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce.

“Each year Australian exports of genetic material contribute to our economy and to the strength of global genetics for cattle, sheep, goats, horses and canines. For example, in 2014–15 bovine semen exports were valued at $2.4 million.”

Last financial year, 235 consignments of Australian genetic material was exported.

Joyce said there is an increasing demand for Australian ruminant genetics, particularly in Latin America.

But in comparison to US exports of bovine semen, which were valued at $142 million dollars in 2012, and Canada’s sales, which stood at $88 million in the same year, Australia’s exportation business has far to go.

Many believe genetic exports could be a more sustainable and profitable business for Australian producers of livestock.

Cattle industry estimates suggest a total genetics export approach by Australia’s seedstock and live heifer export players could be worth as much as $326 million annually.

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