Beef exports to Thailand growing, sheepmeat demand building in Indonesia

08 October 2015

Australia exported 11,745 tonnes swt of red meat (down 7% year-on-year), and 3,240 tonnes of offal items (up 2%) to South East Asia (ASEAN 10 countries) in September (Department of Agriculture). The decline in red meat shipments was largely due to lower intake by major destinations, but volumes were partially offset by stronger demand from smaller, growing markets.

Beef – Indonesia subdued, Thailand rising

  • Exports to Indonesia continued to be challenged with the country’s cut restrictions, with September shipments falling 39% year-on-year to 1,854 tonnes swt.
  • Volumes to Thailand jumped 95% to 409 tonnes swt, taking the year-to-date (January to September) total to 3,568 tonnes swt – up 25% from 2014, and the highest on record for this period. While Thailand applies a 50% tariff on imported beef (excluding a small quantity within the Safeguard measure at 13.33%), the increase indicates the growth in demand for high quality meat, which is likely to lift further with the tariff elimination in 2020 under the Thailand-Australia FTA (TAFTA).

Sheepmeat – Indonesia and Brunei ‘rising newcomers’

  • Malaysia remains a dominant buyer of Australian lamb in South East Asia, however shipments to the market during September decreased by 19% year-on-year to 769 tonnes swt. Year-to-date volumes, however, are 20% higher than the same time last year, at 6,432 tonnes swt.
  • Indonesia emerged as a growing market for sheepmeat in 2015, possibly prompted by importers seeking an alternative protein to beef, but also assisted by local and tourist demand for quality red meat. September shipments rose year-on-year, with the year-to-date total amounting to 892 tonnes swt for lamb (94% higher than the corresponding period in 2014) and 830 tonnes swt for mutton (up 288%).
  • Brunei Darussalam is another growing destination for Australian sheepmeat, taking 589 tonnes swt of lamb and 192 tonnes swt of mutton so far this year, up 118% and 146% on last year, respectively.

Offal – surge in shipments for Singapore

  • Year-to-date export data reveals a surge in beef offal shipments to Singapore (a 469% increase year-on-year to 9,729 tonnes swt), while the Indonesian market remains subdued by the trade restrictions, at 1,333 tonnes swt (down 90% from 2014).
  • Beef offal shipments to Malaysia eased 10% during the same period, while Thailand showed a small increase.


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