Beef cattle production

Location: Northern Territory, Australia

Sector: Agribusiness

Investment type: Various opportunities available including purchase of pastoral lease, joint venture and direct passive equity investment

Investment amount sought: Variable dependent on location, scale, infrastructure and business model

Project status: Investor ready

Project description

The Northern Territory (the Territory) currently has a total cattle herd of around two million head, sales of around 500 000 cattle per annum and the capacity for further growth. There are two main breeds of cattle in the Territory.

Brahman cattle standing

North - Bos indicus including Brahman, Brahman cross and tropical composites which are generally live exported through the Darwin port.

British breed cattle standing

South - Bos taurus or British breeds which are processed for Australian and export markets.

Beef cattle free range on pastoral stations. A pastoral lease is issued as a long-term lease of an area of land to use for grazing of cattle (and other livestock). Recent changes to lease arrangements mean that there is also opportunity to develop tourism, horticulture and forestry activities on pastoral leases. For more information on leases refer to the Austrade website

Investment in beef cattle offers:

  • high quality products with a reputation for food safety
  • proximity to south-east Asian markets with growing protein consumption
  • long-term return on investment.

Top End

  • Predominately Brahman cattle and a small buffalo industry
  • Mostly live exported to supply South-east Asia
  • Cattle graze on floodplains and improved pasture
  • Average property size is 500 square kilometers
  • Average herd size is 3600 head.

Katherine region

  • Predominately Brahman cattle
  • Live exported to supply South-east Asia
  • Cattle graze on native grasses
  • Average property size is 2200km2
  • Average herd size is 10 500 head.

Barkly region

  • Commonly Brahman, Brahman cross and Tropical composite cattle
  • Mostly sent to feedlots in Queensland (with 20% live exported to supply South-East Asia)
  • Cattle graze on floodplains and improved pasture
  • Average property size is 6600km2
  • Average herd size is 24 000 head.

Alice Springs region

  • Largely Bos taurus breeds
  • Generally sold to abattoirs, feedlots and sale yards in southern Australia states
  • Cattle graze on native grasses
  • Average property size is 3800km2
  • Average herd size is 5700 head.

Industry statistics

Live cattle export from NT

Graph for number of cattle exported from the NT from 2005 to 2015, dipping in 2012 then increasing in 2015

Map of the Northern Territory showing different regions

Contact details

Linda Lee
Director Agribusiness Development
Department of Primary Industry and Resources

Phone: +61 8 8999 6058

For more information on cattle go to the Northern Territory Government website

Disclaimer: This web page includes information provided by third parties. The information is general in nature and is for information purposes only. The Northern Territory Government makes no representation about the veracity or accuracy of information provided by third parties. You must rely on your own due diligence before proceeding. You should consider seeking independent professional advice.