Australian beef exports lower in 2009

by Editor
Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Australian beef and veal exports for the 2009 calendar year totalled 927,277 tonnes (shipped weight) – 3% below the previous year and 1% back on the average for the past five years, according to figures from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Foresty.

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) reports that contributing to the decline in shipments in 2009 was a contraction in beef production throughout the second half of the year, along with the high dollar and recession conditions in key exports markets.

MLA says the main influencing factor for Australian beef exports in 2009 was the rapid rise of the dollar which, combined with the impact of recession and the fallout from the global financial crisis, restrained returns to Australian exporters from Japan and the US during 2009.

However, on a positive note, South East Asia continued to develop as a significant market for Australian beef, underpinned by a record volume of beef to Indonesia.

Japan maintained its position as Australia’s largest beef export destination in 2009, with shipments for the year back 2% on 2008, at 356,567 t.

The high dollar created very difficult trading conditions for Australian exporters during the second half of 2009, which was further complicated by recession and deflationary conditions in Japan.

Despite Australian shipments to the US increasing 7% in 2009 to 251,479 t, exports remained 16% below the average for the past five years at 299,125 t.