Beef exports to Russia hit record highs

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Friday, May 09, 2008

Australian beef exports to Russia continued at pace during April – reaching a record 8,333 tons swt, up from 75 tons swt sent in April 2007.

As a result, beef exports to Russia during the first four months of 2008 were 13,073 tons swt – almost 30 fold shipments during the calendar year to April last year.

The boom in exports to the region has been a result of the recent sharp fall in subsidised beef exports from the EU, tight beef supplies and high prices coming out of South America, falling Russian beef production and rising domestic beef demand.

Exports to Russia represented 9% of total Australian beef exports during April (up from 2% last year), and 5% for the calendar year to April (1% in 2006) – making Russia Australia’s fourth largest beef market behind Japan, the US and Korea.

A surge in frozen product is behind the export boom, jumping to 12,749 tons swt during the first four months of the year (97.5% of the total) – up from 230 tons swt exported during the same period last year. Exports of chilled beef also experienced some growth over the period, lifting 51% on the same period last year, to 324 tons swt.

While a variety of cuts are now being exported to Russia, such as blade (946 tons swt) and chuck and blade (855 tons), the largest increase during the four months to April was recorded for traditional manufacturing cuts, which jumped to 3,315 tons swt (25% of the total) – up from 227 tons swt exported during the same period last year. Significant increases were also recorded for silverside/outside (3,311 tons swt or 25% of the total), thick flank/knuckle (2,186 tons swt, 17%) and topside/inside (1,392 tons swt, 11%).
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