July beef exports feel the winter chill

09 August 2016

In July, Australian beef exports totalled 80,767 tonnes swt – declining 34% year-on-year – with the very low cattle slaughter accentuated by a stronger A$, resulting in lower shipments to Australia’s two largest markets, the US & Japan.

For the 2016 calendar year-to-date, beef exports have dropped significantly – down 21% on the corresponding period last year, at just over 609,300 tonnes swt.

This year-to-date, compared to the same time last year, shipments to:

  • the US  declined 40%, to 164,164 tonnes swt
  • Japan decreased 11%, to 148,320 tonnes swt
  • South Korea increased 5%, to 98,877 swt
  • China declined 33%, to 55,218 tonnes swt
  • Indonesia increased 79%, to 37,448 tonnes swt

A range of factors are currently having an effect on Australia’s beef trade. Recent widespread rainfall, compounded with the already tight supply of cattle, has seen domestic prices soar – while on the demand scale, lower global beef prices – represented by a much lower 90CL cow beef indicator (207US¢, down 15% year-on-year) has hampered export volumes.

Looking forward, 2016 total beef export volume is forecast to reach just over 1 million tonnes swt – down 20% on the highs of 2015. 

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