MLA’s 2024 global market snapshots confirm Australia’s strong market position to service world-wide demand for quality, sustainable red meat
01 February 2024
MLA has just released its annual global market snapshots for 2024, providing an updated understanding of Australia’s competitive advantages and growth opportunities in key global markets.
Covering 14 markets for beef and sheepmeat, the snapshots provide industry stakeholders access to topline insights on:
- consumer demographics, perceptions, habits and trends
- Australian export data and analysis
- foodservice and retail sector trends
- trade access and competitive landscape.
The comprehensive list of markets covered by the snapshots includes:
• North America
• Greater China
Miho Kondo, MLA’s Manager of Market Insights and Adoption emphasises the importance of the snapshots in providing key data and updated insights to Australia’s red meat industry.
“It’s vital for our industry to have access to up-to-date market and consumer insights on our key global markets, in a simple, easy to read and compelling way,” Miho said.
Australian domestic market:
Australians remain among the world’s heaviest per capita consumers of beef and lamb – in fact, our domestic market is the largest single destination of Australian beef and sheepmeat.
Cost of living challenges due to rising inflation in a number of markets, particularly in Australia, have shifted the focus to items with ‘better value’ for shoppers, diners, retailers and foodservice operators. Australian red meat is well placed to continue to meet this demand, with its quality, taste and uniquely wide mix of products, as well as current lower prices.
Sustainable red meat: particularly prevalent in Australian, European and US markets, is a growing desire for ‘responsible’ red meat. Consumers are increasingly looking for products with claims relating to environmental sustainability and high animal welfare standards.
China Mainland has been Australia’s largest red meat export market by volume for several years, despite on-going market access challenges.
Long-term import demand drivers are strong, as China’s affluent consumer base continues to expand, along with growing appreciation for high quality red meat products, not just when dining out for special occasions but, increasingly, for every day at home.
United States (US):
The US has the largest pool of affluent consumers globally, and products that put emphasis on health, sustainability or animal welfare have been gaining traction.
As a major market for Australian grassfed beef and lamb, there are ongoing opportunities for Australia in the US, particularly around premium products. However continued communication of our strong value proposition remains critical, to maintain and elevate our position in the market.
Japan remains one of the most important export markets for Australian beef, and a critically important trade partner for the Australian red meat industry.
Australian red meat has a long-established place in the market and is considered very well suited to a variety of Western and Japanese-style everyday meals.
Korea is a major market for Australian beef (grainfed in particular), and among Australia’s fastest growing lamb markets in recent years.
Korea’s e-commerce channel is among the world’s largest and is a key way that shoppers purchase Australian red meat.
A high proportion of global growth in red meat consumption and imports is driven by the young, and increasingly affluent consumer base in emerging regional markets such as the Middle East (Middle East & North Africa or MENA) and South-East Asia.
In MENA, there is growing acceptance of packaged meat products purchased from modern retail. While the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia remain the largest markets, exports to a range of countries in the region are growing in both volume and value. MENA markets have been among Australia’s fastest growing for chilled grainfed beef exports.
In South-East Asia, Indonesia is Australia’s largest red meat and livestock export market. The country has the biggest middle class in the region by virtue of its large population and growing incomes. Vietnamese already enjoy beef in local dishes quite frequently by regional standards and as disposable incomes increase, are spending more on premium and imported red meat products.
United Kingdom (UK) Trade agreement drives demand
Australia’s red meat exports to the United Kingdom have notably increased in just the few months since the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement (A-UK FTA) entered into force from the end of May 2023.
Australian red meat has an established foothold in foodservice. While retail has traditionally favoured local grassfed product, there are new opportunities for Australian grainfed, which offers a level of eating quality that British consumers are not used to.
Trade agreement discussions between Australia and the European Union are continuing, with Australia determined to ensure any agreement reached will achieve a significant step-change in access for Australian red meat.