AUSTRALIA, North Sydney. Australian beef exports to the EU increased 5% on the previous fiscal year, to 24,037 tonnes swt, with the rise attributed to increased grainfed shipments, demonstrating growing demand for such product.
In contrast, grassfed beef exports declined 9% year-on-year, to 7,492 tonnes swt. Australia’s utilisation of its “Hilton Quota” declined slightly in 2014–15, with utilisation at 95% (or 6,815 tonnes swt), down from 99% in 2013–14.
The UK has historically been the largest market in the EU for Australia and remained the case in 2014–15, however whilst accounting for 48% of total imports in 2013–14 that percentage declined to only 41% in 2014–15 (or 9,797 tonnes swt). The continued growth in grainfed beef shipments has allowed Australia to diversify its markets in the EU, with further growth in exports to Italy (up 9%, to 5,843 tonnes swt), the Netherlands (up 29%, to 5,711 tonnes swt) and Denmark (up 12%, to 1,168 tonnes swt). The Australian cut mix heading to the EU comprised mostly of loin cuts, topside, striploin and rump, combining to account for 43.5% of total shipments.
Total EU beef imports under the HQB “grainfed” quota increased 15% on the previous fiscal year, to 47,605 tonnes swt (EU Commission) – the highest usage registered since the quota was established, with all quarters achieving critical usage status (90%). Australia’s exports under the quota increased 13% year-on-year, to 16,545 tonnes swt and accounted for 35% of total imports.