Exporters still seeing value in US beef market

06 August 2015

Australian beef and veal exports to the US were very strong again during July, with volumes increasing 20% on last year, to 44,290 tonnes shipped weight (swt), bringing the year-to-date total to 271,439 tonnes swt (Department of Agriculture).

While there have been reports of processors finding it a little more difficult to source cattle in recent weeks, and livestock prices increasing in response, the strength of demand for imported beef in the US continues to draw product from exporters. The US imported 90CL cow indicator – 90CL manufacturing beef accounts for approximately 25% of all beef exported from Australia to the US – has risen sharply in recent weeks, assisted by the weakening of the A$.

Another positive aspect of the increase in trade volumes to the US is that it has been across a whole range of cuts, suggesting that the whole carcase is generating good value. The chilled cuts showing the largest year-on-year growth to the US during July were rump, striploin, cube roll, and tenderloin, while chilled inside volumes were also strong. Manufacturing beef dominates the frozen trade, but other lean cuts to increase were knuckle, thin flank and shin/shank.

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