Competition expected to intensify in 2018

28 February 2018

Competition across many of Australia’s international markets will intensify in the next two years, as almost all major beef players increase production, improve market access and build up shipments to Asia and Middle East.

Implications for Australia

  • The US will remain the main competitor for Australia in key high value markets in coming years, as they seek to strengthen their presence in Japan and Korea.
  • Australia currently has limited overlap with Brazil and India’s main export destinations, however this is changing with market access improvements, such as the entry of Indian buffalo meat into Indonesia.
  • South America beef destinations are evolving with shipments now highly concentrated in Asia (especially China) and the Middle East, and only stronger competition is anticipated in these regions.

Beef exports and production

India continued to lead global beef exports, although shipments have declined in 2017*. Indian shipments continues to be highly concentrated on Vietnam, which accounts for more than 50% of total exports and is up to a massive 687,000 tonnes shipped weight (swt). For reference, this is now more than Australia shipped to Japan, Korea and the US combined in 2017.

India leads beef exports
*December 2016 to November 2017
Source: GTA

US leads total exports value
*December 2016 to November 2017
Source: GTA

Brazilian and Uruguayan beef shipments had a considerable rise in 2017, up 12% and 4% respectively, with China and Hong Kong continuing to be key destinations.

The US registered a record year of beef exports, up 13% year-on-year, with shipments for all main markets registering a growth, particularly Japan and Hong Kong. 

Beef exports 2017

International competitor table*Includes beef and buffalo meat, India - December 2016 to November 2017

In 2018 all major beef exporters are expected to increase production, with beef exports also projected to rise, increasing competition – particularly in Asia.

The US is on track for their record year of beef production in 2018 and again in 2019, while Brazilian beef production will also surge in 2018, with an increase in slaughter and marginally heavier carcase weights.

Indian beef and buffalo meat production growth will be driven by the domestic progress in the dairy sector, as private investment and government support increase. In contrast, Uruguayan beef production is forecast to drop as a result of declining slaughter.

Higher beef availability in 2019 and 2019

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