Australia ’s export of live cattle to Vietnam soared nearly 9,000 percent during the 2011-2012 financial year, according to the Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).

The latest statistics by the MLA showed that the number of cattle shipped to Vietnam has risen from 1,500 to a staggering 131,000 head of cattle over the past three years.

Chief executive officer of the Northern Territory Livestock Exporters Association Ben Hindle said Darwin alone exported 49,000 head of cattle to Vietnam during the reviewed period, up 200 percent year-on-year.

In its annual plan announced in January 2014, MLA forecast that exports to Vietnam will see a slight decline this year. However, the record high figure last year made Vietnam the second largest customer of the Northern Territory ’s livestock industry.

Hindle said the Northern Territory government has played a crucial role in establishing Vietnam as a significant trading partner.

"They have been in Vietnam for a bit over two years with specialists providing technical advice to a lot of the supply chains," he said.-VNA