Exports of breeder cattle so far this year have jumped by 89 per cent on the back of strong demand from China.
And exports of feeder cattle for the first five months of the year have also increased with Indonesia taking 241,000 head, Vietnam 19,000 and Israel 39,000.
This combined has achieved the highest year-to-May live cattle exports since 2016 at 484,000 head, according to latest statistics from Meat & Livestock Australia.
MLA said exports of feeder cattle saw a spike in May with shipments showing the effects of the season, as consistent supply largely reflected the impact of a disappointing wet season.
The 84,000 head of feeder cattle shipped in May was the highest monthly consignment since October last year (89,000 head), MLA said.
So far in 2019, feeder cattle exports have increased 25pc compared to the same period in 2018, supported by the generally poor season in the Top End and a return to a more affordable price point for feeder steers out of Darwin.
Indonesia has taken the majority of this supply, accounting for 241,000 head of the 329,000 feeder cattle total.
Feeder shipments to Indonesia in May (63,000 head) will have helped to replenish feedlot inventories, post the peak demand period during Ramadan and Eid ul Fitr (June 3-4).
Israel has also taken more feeder cattle in 2019 compared with 2018, at 39,000 head, while Vietnam has also increased intake of feeder cattle at 19,000 head for the calendar year-to-May.
The other major increase in 2019 has been breeder cattle exports. So far in 2019, live breeder cattle exports are up 89pc to 68,000 head compared with the same period in 2018.
China accounted for 67pc of all breeder shipments so far in 2019, with exports to the market up 85pc, to 46,000 head for the calendar year-to-May.
Year-to-date live sheep exports have totalled just over 700,000 head, down four per cent on the same period through 2018, as the trade now enters the northern summer (June - August) shut down.
Kuwait has been the largest market so far in 2019, with 239,000 head exported, a significant portion of the total. A total of 38pc or 90,000 head were shipped there in May.