Spotlight on Hong Kong - 2015 shifts in red meat imports

01 October 2015

Australian red meat exports to Hong Kong have declined this year – in large part due to regulatory and market access changes in Asia. With improvements in access to other markets, the industry has been able to generate other business throughout the region.

Regional shifts in red meat flows

  • Hong Kong’s total import volume of frozen mutton (the vast majority of sheepmeat imports) has fallen 63% this year (January to August).  This has affected the top two sources, Australia and New Zealand.  The average unit price per kilogram for frozen mutton has been quite stable.


  • Hong Kong’s total import volume of goat meat also fell 49% year-to-date to August compared to 2014, although much of this can be attributed to lower goat meat production in Australia this year. 


  • Hong Kong’s total import volume of frozen beef (the vast bulk of beef imports) has fallen 23% year-to-date to August compared to 2014.  The average unit price per kilogram for frozen beef imported into Hong Kong has remained fairly stable.


  • Brazil and the USA remain by far the two chief sources of beef into Hong Kong, with Canada and Australia a distant third and fourth respectively.  The year-to-date volumes of imported frozen beef are down by at least 20% for all of these countries.
  • A significant regional change in red meat movements in the Greater China region, Brazil began exporting beef to China officially in June 2015 for the first time since imports were halted in January 2013, beginning with 3,736 tonnes swt. Imports more than doubled in July with 11,404 tonnes swt, followed by 12, 707 tonnes swt in August (SECEX, Foreign Trade Secretariat).
  • Chinese authorities’ crackdowns on the “grey channel” for meat have significantly impacted meat movements in the region this year, in preparation for a new Food Safety Law to come into force this week on 1 October, 2015. 

Please click here to find out more about the importance of Hong Kong for Australian red meat exports

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