Australian beef and veal exports in April were the highest April volumes on record.
Meat and Livestock Australia reports following the previous month's record exports, April saw another large shipment of Australian beef and veal at 97,477 t shipped weight. The latest statistics from the Department of Agriculture report beef exports to be up 14% on the corresponding month last year and 26% above the five-year average, underpinned by the heightened cattle slaughter caused by the drought conditions throughout major supply regions.
The fiscal year-to-April shipments are up 18% year-on-year at 973,052 t swt, consisting of four monthly totals above 100,000 t swt.
The US accounted for the month's largest volume, up 41% on April 2013 and 35% on the five-year comparison at 24,982 t swt, with the fiscal year-to-April volume increasing 20% year-on-year at 204,679 t swt.
The volume to Japan was low again during April at 20,747 t swt, down 10% on a year ago and 23% below the five-year average, as the US remained a strong competitor for beef in the Japanese market, particularly for frozen brisket and plate. Although not yet signed, the recent announcement of the Japan-Australia trade agreement is likely to reinvigorate trade over the coming months.
Shipments to China remained strong for the month, at 13,859 t swt, up 19% year-on-year and more than five-fold on the five-year average.
Korea took 12,065 t swt for the month, still 26% above last year and up 27% compared with the previous five years.
Exports to the Middle East in April reached 5908 t swt, the largest monthly volume since August last year, up 8% on April 2013 and more than double the five-year average.
Beef volumes to Indonesia were also greater, up 62% year-on-year, with increased demand for frozen beef, taking 59% more frozen product compared with the same month last year.
Source: Meat and Livestock Australia