Australian beef exports slow in November

03 December 2015

Australian beef and veal exports slowed significantly in November – the result of lower cattle slaughter and reaching the annual quota limit in the US.

For November, shipments were 93,817 tonnes swt, down 17% from the same time last year. Notwithstanding, the monthly volume is in the realms of pre 2014 record highs, but it is likely that monthly shipments will regularly be below the 100,000 tonnes swt level for the foreseeable future.

During November, quota restrictions meant volumes to the US were only one third what they were one year earlier, at 13,163 tonnes swt. The huge contraction for the month should be short lived, as exports through December will be for 2016 landing, meaning quota issues will no longer be a concern.

Australian beef exports to Japan were down 6% year-on-year for the month, at 25,053 tonnes swt, with the blend comprising of 12,029 tonnes swt grainfed and 13,025 tonnes swt grassfed – both categories down 6%.

Korea was one of the stronger performing markets during November, assisted by limited competition from US buyers. Exports were up 15% year-on-year, at 15,765 tonnes swt.

China was also a strong performing market in November and continued the growth of recent months, with exports up 73% year-on-year, to 14,742 tonnes swt. Another positive was that exports to Indonesia were up 6% over the same period, at 4,658 tonnes swt.

Grainfed exports to the EU were sluggish, down 16%, to 1,054 tonnes swt, meaning the total volume was down 9% year-on-year, at 1,763 tonnes swt. In contrast, shipments to the Middle East were up 10% from the corresponding time last year, to 4,054 tonnes swt.

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