Longer routes to lucrative European markets and a tightening of shipping schedules across the board are effects from tensions in the Red Sea already flowing through to Australian livestock industries.
Red meat and dairy exporters, along with live-ex supply chains, are on high alert with the escalation of the conflict in recent days, where the United States and United Kingdom have launched air offensives in retaliation to Houthi attacks against international vessels.
The Red Sea is one of the most important trade routes and international media is reporting World Bank economists warning the crisis now threatens to feed through into stalled economic recovery and persistent inflation globally.
Big shipping outfits, including Dutch company Maersk which carries large volumes of Australian beef and sheep meat, have diverted all container vessels around Africa's Cape of Good Hope and sent out warnings to customers to prepare for significant disruption.
Beef exporters say between 10 and 14 days, plus significant extra cost, is being added to shipments between Australian and European ports.
A Maersk container vessel was attacked by Iran-backed Houthi militants late last year, sparking a US helicopter counter attack which sank three Houthi ships.
Beef consultant Steve Martyn said tension in the Red Sea was not new, but it had settled somewhat prior to the events of last year.
Air freight might be an option for some of the red meat exports going to the UK and European Union given their high-end nature, he said.
"Costs have to be passed on and there is already evidence the situation is tightening shipping supply across the board," Mr Martyn said.
Dairy Australia said while the vast majority of Australian dairy exports went into the Asian region, the trickle-on effect in terms of disruptions and additional costs was being felt.
The Middle East accounted for less than 5 per cent of dairy custom but was a growing market, a Dairy Australia spokesman said.
"It's a watching brief at the moment, with the impacts marginal so far but escalation could see the whole flow of trade affected," he said.
The ports industrial relations dispute on home soil was causing more havoc for dairy exporters right now but it all compounded, he said.
Australian Livestock Exporters Council chief executive officer Mark Harvey-Sutton said for the live-ex industry, it was business as usual but there was extreme caution.
Exporters were monitoring the situation very closely and following all Australian Government advice and regulation regarding shipping to the Red Sea, he said.
"While there may be some additional cost and complexity to shipping in the area, Australian exporters take very seriously their responsibilities to uphold the highest animal welfare standards and to provide food security to markets in the Red Sea," he said.
"All Australian livestock consignments have reserve fodder on board as well as Australian Government accredited veterinarians and stock hands that are responsible for constantly monitoring the welfare of animals on board."