Beef exports back on reduced kill

09 September 2015

Australian beef and veal exports declined in August, to almost 106,000 tonnes swt – back 13% from July volumes and 5% below year-ago levels.

The decline was not surprising given the eastern states weekly slaughter, as reported by MLA, in July and August was back 4% and 8% year-on-year, respectively.

However, shipments should be considered in context, with current exports still well above the 91,000 tonnes swt August five-year average.

All major Australian beef and veal markets registered a month-on-month decline in August, however the US and China recorded higher volumes year-on-year.

In August:

  • Exports to the US were almost 40,000 tonnes swt, up 6% year-on-year
  • Shipments to Japan were almost 21,000 tonnes swt, back 22%
  • Korea was 12,000 tonnes swt, back 1%
  • Exports to China were 12,500 tonnes swt, up 35%
  • 21,000 tonnes swt was shipped to all remaining markets, back 21%

China has recorded strong year-on-year growth over the past four months. With 95,000 tonnes swt sent to the market so far this year, it is not far behind Australia’s third largest market, Korea (106,000 tonnes swt over the same period), and it has exceeded the volumes shipped in 2013 when exports exploded 16-fold year-on-year.

Year-to-August shipments to the US were just over 311,000 tonnes swt and on 31 August Australia hit the 85% US imported beef quota trigger point. Year-to-date volumes to the US are up 37% however the marked growth has been in the grassfed chilled beef, accounting for 17% of exports to the market and up 42% year-on-year.

Australian beef and veal exports to a suite of other markets in August had varied movements, in particular shipments to:

  • The Middle East were almost 4,500 tonnes swt, up 5% year-on-year
  • Canada were over 3,000 tonnes swt, up 2%
  • Taiwan were almost 2,500 tonnes swt, back 3%
  • The EU were just over 2,000 tonnes swt, back 4%

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