Quarterly grainfed beef exports ease
11 April 2017
Australian grainfed beef exports for the March quarter 2017 were 4% lower than the corresponding period last year, totalling 59,550 tonnes swt (Department of Agriculture and Water Resources). The fall in volume was mostly accounted for by Korea, Australia’s second largest grainfed beef export market, which eased 20% to 10,574 tonnes swt, along with declines to other smaller key markets such as;
- the EU – back 30% to 3,158 tonnes swt
- the Middle East – 18% lower on 1,644 tonnes swt
- the US – halving to 1,444 tonnes swt
- the Philippines – back 48% to 1,189 tonnes swt
On the other hand, volumes to both Japan and China increased year-on-year in the March quarter – somewhat offsetting the overall decline. Shipments to Japan lifted 13% (or 3,841 tonnes swt) to total 33,049 tonnes swt, while grainfed beef to China increased 21% to 6,258 tonnes swt.
The growth in volumes to both Japan and China were mostly the result of traders securing volumes of grainfed beef as reduced Australian supplies limits the availability of grassfed beef. Further supporting the increase to China is growing demand for higher quality product coupled with improved market access. Compared to the March quarter 2016, much of the product previously destined for the Korean market was directed to China.
Interestingly, the proportion of grainfed exports of total Australian beef exports for the March quarter reached 28% for 2017 – the equal highest volume with that of 2007, following a widespread dry period which saw an increased number of cattle consigned onto feed.
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