MLA International Market and Economic Services General Manager Dr. Peter Barnard said there are positive signs in markets such as Russia, the Middle East, South East Asia and China at a time Australia's mature markets are struggling.
This is underlined by the following facts:
- Exports of Australian beef to Russia surge to 38,436 tonnes as volumes to the US decline
- Exports of Australian beef to the Middle East up 58% year to date
- Opportunities for Australian beef in South East Asia and China as protein consumption grows
- Recent beef industry taskforce meetings reemphasised the need to grow new and emerging markets for beef in light of Australia's traditional markets enduring a prolonged economic downturn.
Exports of Australian beef to Japan are down 3% this year to date, due largely to the low US$ making US beef more competitive in that market. The weakening of the US$ against the A$ has also seen volumes of Australian beef to the U.S. decrease by 25%.
In the Middle East, Australian exports have grown from 4,374 tonnes in 2007 to 15,753 tonnes in 2009. The trend has continued in 2010, with exports for the first ten months of 2010 to the Middle East rising 59%, to over 19,000 tonnes. Within the region, the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, has undergone rapid economic growth due to high oil prices and increased demand for support services.
Barnard noted that Australia is well positioned as a reputable, and in many cases, a long-term supplier across the region.
Source: Meat & Livestock Australia - MLA