Live cattle marketing and trade systems for Thailand are presented in Figure 4. Traditional mixed cattle-crop producers often produce cattle for low beef value markets. Cattle marketing chains are characterised by a large number of agents which ensures a competitive price structure at the lower end of the market. Traditional producers often sell their cattle to collectors/ middlemen at farm gate through spot transactions and immediate payment. Some also take their cattle directly to the local cattle market.
At the market, sellers are usually individual farmers, professional traders or opportunistic speculators. Buyers are mainly traders serving slaughter for butchers or slaughter houses (50%). Some buyers purchase for breeding stock or fattening. Bargaining between a seller and a buyer starts when the seller provides information about the price and age of animals. Negotiations for whole truck load occur with well-known buyers/traders. Sellers pay a market fee and obtain the animal health certificate from local livestock officer to pass to the buyer with the cattle. If the buyer wants to move the animals across provinces, they need to get a movement permit and pays a certain fee.