Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce hopes Australia will earn up to $2 billion a year through live cattle exports to China after a new deal was reached between the countries.
The cattle health protocol deal could see Australian feeder and slaughter cattle sent to China for the first time.
China may receive up to one million head of Australian cattle a year by 2025, which Mr Joyce said is nearly double the total head of cattle exported overseas last financial year.
“That obviously won’t happen overnight, you have to build to those numbers,” he said.
“It will probably happen over about a decade. There’s a strong long-term future with strong returns.
“We have record cattle prices at the moment and this further underpins those prices.”
Mr Joyce said the first head of cattle could be sent within the next six months.
“This deal has the capacity to be absolutely massive,” he said.
“It’s good for Australia because it says to people in the protein market ‘you’ve got a strong future’.
“It gives people the capacity to ramp up knowing that there is a strong future not just for this year but for a long period of time ahead.”
It comes after Indonesia recently slashed live cattle imports from Australia.