Grainfed beef exports on record trajectory

20 October 2015

Australian grainfed beef exports continue to surge in 2015, boosted by cattle on feed exceeding 900,000 head in the first two quarters and assisted by the strong global demand for Australian product.

For the year-to-September, grainfed shipments are the highest on record, at 194,522 tonnes swt, and 26% higher than the five-year average for the period (Department of Agriculture).

The previous record for grainfed exports after nine months was in 2006 and was 188,473 tonnes swt.

Grainfed shipments were higher to most markets, unlike grassfed beef exports for 2015, where higher year-on-year shipments have only been recorded for the largest four markets (the US, Japan, Korea and China).

The revived demand in Australia’s largest grainfed beef market, Japan, has accounted for the majority of the overall increase, with shipments at 103,532 tonnes swt, up 13% year-on-year.

For the other grainfed beef markets for the year-to-September:

  • Korea was at 31,275 tonnes swt, up 18% year-on-year
  • China at 14,752 tonnes swt, up 44%
  • The US was 12,654 tonnes swt, up 93%
  • The EU at 12,584 tonnes swt, up 1%
  • Middle East at 7,432 tonnes swt, up 10%

Considering above average (750,000 head) cattle on feed are expected for the final quarters of 2015, the record grainfed beef export trend is expected to continue, despite a forecast 4% year-on-year decline in overall beef shipments.

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