Overseas markets


Beef-overseas-page-editThe Australian beef export record has now been broken for three consecutive years. Beef shipments for 2014 totalled 1.29 million tonnes swt – a staggering 17% above the previous high recorded just 12 months ago.

Beef shipment to the US finished the year at 397,890 tonnes swt, up 87% from the previous year, with exporters capitalising on the high beef prices over the course of the year. Japan finished the year strongly, with monthly exports gradually creeping higher as the year progressed, to take the final figure for 2014 to 293,779 tonnes swt, up 2% year-on-year – encouraging, despite Japan falling back into recession towards the end of the year. Shipments to Korea were up 5%, to become the highest on record for Australia, at 150,918 tonnes swt, with demand upheld by the limited US competition.

Exports to the EU continued to build momentum through the grainfed beef quota, with shipments for 2014 at 24,619 tonnes swt, up 24% from the previous year. Indonesia completed the year with beef exports 35% higher than the previous year, at 53,139 tonnes swt.

Shipments to China reduced 20% year-on-year, at 124,586 tonnes swt, with trade interrupted throughout the year due to changes in import protocols and regulations. Exports to the Middle East also slowed somewhat, albeit to finish the year just 2% below the 2013 level, at 59,803 tonnes swt.

Incredibly, 74% of Australian beef production was exported in 2014. Indeed, the proportion exported has been gradually creeping higher over the past decade i.e. from 62% in 2003, to 69% in 2013, however, given the strong international fundamentals, it is anticipated this trend will at least hover around 70% for the coming years.


Sheep-overseas-page-editAustralian lamb exports hit new highs in 2014, surpassing the previous year’s record by 23,193 tonnes swt (11%),  at 236,908 tonnes swt.

The majority of export markets for Australian lamb registered considerable growth over the past 12 months, fortunately absorbing high domestic supplies, as feed and water deficits were recorded across many key livestock producing regions throughout the year.

Lamb shipments to the Middle East in 2014 were 7% higher than the previous year, totalling 64,249 tonnes swt, while volumes to the US for the year surged to 46,224 tonnes swt – 18% higher than the 2013 total.

Demand from China was not as strong as the year prior, with the 2014 total back slightly (2%), to 38,842 tonnes swt. Lamb exports to the EU increased 20%, to 14,042 tonnes swt, while volumes to South East Asia (13,019 tonnes swt) and Japan (10,127 tonnes swt) lifted 20% and 32% year-on-year, respectively.

Papua New Guinea finished the year on a stronger note, although the overall total for 2014 was 28% lower than the year before, totalling 9,033 tonnes swt. Shipments to Canada were up 11%, at 6,191 tonnes swt, and volumes to Korea reached 4,837 tonnes swt in 2014 – 52% higher year-on-year.

It is likely that Australian lamb exports in 2015 will come back from the highs seen in 2014, as domestic supplies begin to tighten, although global demand is expected to remain strong.


goat-overseasGoatmeat is the most widely consumed meat in the world and is an important component of diets in the Middle East, North Africa (MENA) and Asia. A large majority of goatmeat produced is consumed in the country of origin.

Over the past 20 years the Australian goatmeat industry has experienced strong growth, largely underpinned by the sale of goats derived from rangeland or extensive production systems. Australia is the world leader in goatmeat exports, with around 95% of Australian goatmeat sent offshore and accounting for around 50% of the global goatmeat trade. Goatmeat shipments increased 10% year-on-year, to 35,780 tonnes swt – the highest on record.

Australia exported almost 89,000 live goats in 2014, up 18% year-on-year, with the trade valued at $8.6 million. Almost all exports were destined for Malaysia, either directly or indirectly through Singapore. Direct to Malaysia shipments increased 49% year-on-year, to 82,725 head, while exports to Singapore declined 75%, to 4,229 head.