Growth in Australia’s market share of red meat imports to Hong Kong in 2015

08 October 2015

Australian chilled beef, frozen lamb and goat meat exports have seen growth this year and chilled lamb has remained steady. In contrast, frozen beef and frozen mutton exports to Hong Kong have declined this year, in large part due to regulatory and market access changes in the region.


  • Australia remains the leading source of chilled beef imports into Hong Kong and has actually increased its market share this year to August compared to 2014 (44% to August 2015 vs 35% to August 2014), according to Hong Kong import statistics. The volume of Australian chilled beef imports to Hong Kong stands at 2,284 tonnes swt to August this year so far (up from 1,800 tonnes swt to August 2014). 



  • The US is the second largest supplier of chilled beef (at 21% of the import market) but has lost some share this year and its unit price has increased (up 13% vs 2014).  At the same time, Brazil significantly increased their share of Hong Kong chilled beef imports (also 21%) with their lower priced product helping generate business.  Japan has also increased their smaller share (2.8%-5%) with their high value product (US$51.88/kg) meeting high-end foodservice demand.
  • Australia’s frozen beef imports to Hong Kong are down this year (down 47% year-to-date to August 2015).

Chilled lamb

  • Australia is still Hong Kong’s largest source of imported chilled lamb (89% year-to-date to August 2015) and Australia’s share is up 6% compared to 2014. The bulk of Australian chilled lamb exported to Hong Kong this year has been rack (61%), followed by shoulder (14%) and leg (12%).
  • New Zealand sent its first shipment of 1.5 tonnes swt of chilled lamb to Hong Kong in August at a competitive price (USD10.97/kg vs USD13.80 for Australia’s product the same month). The other, smaller import sources, UK and France, both fell significantly in volume for year-to-date to August 2015 (down 55% and 61% respectively on 2014).
  • It should be noted, however, there are some discrepancies between exporter-country and Hong Kong import figures, particularly when it comes to sheepmeat, due to differences in understanding and classification between lamb and mutton.

Frozen lamb

  • Based on Hong Kong import data, Australia also remains Hong Kong’s biggest supplier of frozen lamb, and has actually increased market share this year to 69%. Around two-thirds of it is split between breast and flap and manufacturing and a quarter comprises neck, shoulder and rack.


  •  New Zealand and China are the next biggest suppliers of frozen lamb to Hong Kong and both have lost significant share to Australia this year.

Goat meat

  • Australia remains the second largest source of imported goat meat after China, with Australia greatly increasing its market share this year (from 3% in 2014 to 35% in 2015). This is all frozen product – mostly carcases.

Positive future outlook

  • As a market that is comparatively mature and wealthy, domestic demand in Hong Kong for Australian red meat is expected to remain steady, with the economic outlook for the near and medium term expected to be generally positive.  

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