Greater China Export Update for August 2015

10 September 2015

The picture of Australia’s red meat exports to Greater China in 2015 so far is mixed. Australia’s total beef exports to China remain steady, with modest year-to-date growth, though down for lamb, mutton and goat. Whilst total beef and sheepmeat export volumes to Taiwan are flat, chilled beef offal has seen some growth.  And although frozen beef exports to Hong Kong have seen a big drop, chilled beef has increased.

Australian red meat exports to China


  • Overall, Australia’s total beef exports to China remain steady, with a 35% year-on-year increase for August (12,518 tonnes swt) and a 7% year-to-date increase (94,696 tonnes swt).
  • It must be noted that Australian chilled beef exports resumed only in July 2014 after a 9-month suspension.  Currently, 10 plants are authorised to export chilled beef to China.  The volume of chilled beef exported in August was 12,518 tonnes, which has not yet recovered to levels of 2013, when it peaked at 2,127 tonnes in July that year.
  • Frozen beef also saw some growth, with export volume up 39% year-on-year, though a more modest 4% year-to-date rise.
  • Frozen beef offal export volume is flat (up 12% for August but down 8% year-to-date).


  • Total lamb export volume is down 27% year-on-year and down 20% year-to-date, with 2,307 tonnes exported for August.  At the same time, the export value for lamb for the year-to-July is up 43%, at $144,903,687.
  • Mutton volume is down 50% year-on-year, as is value for July.
  • Goat export volume to China is down 55% year-to-August, with 312 tonnes exported so far this year.
  • Reductions in lamb and mutton exports reflect overall Chinese sheep meat imports declining by almost a quarter in the first half of 2015, as increased levels of domestic production and stocks have subdued demand. Ample sheep meat supplies resulted in prices beginning to decline from mid-2014, which has continued this year. The average wholesale mutton price in June 2014 was 56 yuan/kg and by June 2015 had fallen to 49 yuan/kg, down 12% year-on-year (Source: Chinese Ministry of Agriculture).

Australian red meat exports to Taiwan


  • Total beef exports to Taiwan were down 23% year-to-August but steady for chilled, with 3,064 tonnes swt of chilled beef exported for the year-to-date.
  • Although total volume of beef offal is down slightly year-on-year and year-to-date, the volume of chilled offal is up 54% year-to-August, and total beef offal value for July is up 42% year-to-date. 


  • Although lamb export volumes to Taiwan are down somewhat year-on-year, it is steady for the year-to-August, at 2,419 tonnes swt.  Chilled lamb has accounted for 173 tonnes swt over the first eight months.  And the July value for chilled lamb saw a year-on-year rise of 24%, and 36% year-to-date.
  • Mutton volume for August was down 16% year-on-year, with 4,069 tonnes exported up to August.
  • Total goat export volume is down 37% year-to-date, with 175 tonnes exported in August.

Australian red meat exports to Hong Kong


  • The volume of frozen beef exported to Hong Kong is down sharply (87%) year-on-year for August.  Some 202 tonnes of frozen beef was exported in August, down from 1,515 in August 2014.
  • At the same time, however, chilled beef export volume is up 28% year-on-year and up 17% year-to-date, with 268 tonnes of chilled beef exported in August.
  • Total beef offal export volume is comparatively steady, down only 16% year-on-year, with 1,705 tonnes exported in August.
  • The Chinese government crackdown on the grey channel, more sustained than previous years' in preparation for a new Food Safety Law coming into effect in China in October 2015, explains a significant proportion of the drop in frozen beef volumes. 


  • Total lamb and mutton export volume to Hong Kong is significantly down year-on-year and year-to-date.  Total lamb exports are down 82% year-to-date, with 1,144 tonnes exported so far this year.  Total mutton export volume is down 85% year-to-date, at 228 tonnes this year to August.
  • At the same time, however, chilled lamb is comparatively steady, with 24 tonnes exported in August, reaching 196 tonnes year-to-date.
  • There has been a significant increase in goat export volume to Hong Kong this year, reaching 460 tonnes year-to-date.

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