Australian beef exports highest since 2008

Australian beef exports highest since 2008

Australian beef and veal exports surged to a three-year high in November reaching their highest level since October 2008.

The climb to 89,747 t was fuelled by increased beef availability early in the month, the lower Australian dollar and improved exports to Japan and the US. Meat & Livestock Australia said that while exports were up 1.3% year-on-year, it was the largest monthly volume since October 2008's 93,872 t and took exports for the first 11 months of 2011 to 867,140 t, 3% above the same period last year.

Assisting the higher volume for November was a rapid start to the month, which was made possible by increased beef production in late October and into the first week of November. In fact, after the first 10 days of November exports were on track to be one of the highest months on record, a feat that was thwarted by a gradual reduction in available cattle during the final three weeks of November.

Recent rain in northern NSW and southern Queensland is also likely to further impact available beef supplies during December, MLA analysts warn.

Shipments to Japan at 33,519 t was the highest Australian monthly volume since the corresponding period last year (36,050 t), and almost equal to the November average for the past five years.

Steady demand from the fast food and processing sectors again underpinned demand for frozen grassfed beef (17,245 t), which increased 5% year-on-year.

While the lower A$ may have assisted demand for chilled grainfed beef during November, with volumes increasing 17% on the previous month to 9,099 t. Shipments where still down 5% year-on-year.

Like October, November registered a large year-on-year increase in volumes to the US, but off an extremely low base. Exports for November increased 80% on last year, to 16,711 t - but were still 16% below the five-year average. Korea, Taiwan and the Middle East continued their stronger 2011, with exports for November up 4%, 22% and 19%, respectively, on the same period last year. Shipments to Korea for 2011 were up 20% year-on-year, and with one month remaining, could exceed 140,000 t for only the third year on record.
Source: Meat & Livestock Australia