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Australia’s Red Meat Market Share in China Increased in September

01 November 2013
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - Chinese red meat (beef and sheepmeat) imports during September registered the second highest volume on record, at 52,620 tonnes swt, with Australia’s share of China’s imported red meat increasing from 37 per cent in September 2012, to 46 per cent in September 2013, at 24,106 tonnes swt (Global Trade Atlas, China Customs).

China’s beef imports during September were the highest volume on record, at 29,113 tonnes swt – up from 5,275 tonnes swt in September last year.

China’s imported beef volumes have exceeded 20,000 tonnes swt for seven consecutive months now, underpinning total imports during the year-to-September being significantly higher (794 per cent ) year-on-year, at 209,385 tonnes swt.

Volumes from Australia during September were up 12 per cent from the previous month, at 15,879 tonnes swt, accounting for 55 per cent of the beef market share.

While Uruguay remained the second largest beef supplier to China during September, at 6,795 tonnes swt, the monthly volume was down 11 per cent on the previous month. This caused Uruguay’s market share to decrease from 26 per cent in September last year, to 23 per cent in September 2013.

In contrast, China’s intake of Canadian beef rose 80 per cent on August, and 437 per cent above September last year, at 2,976 tonnes swt, placing Canada as the third largest supplier to China during September – albeit, only slightly higher than New Zealand (at 2,694 tonnes swt).

However, NZ continued to dominate China’s imported sheepmeat market. Out of the 23,506 tonnes swt imported during September, more than half the volume (61 per cent , or 14,398 tonnes swt) was supplied by NZ. Imports of Australian sheepmeat were up 126 per cent year-on-year, at 8,227 tonnes swt.

Chinese retail prices during September indicated further price rises in the market, with both boneless beef (RMB60.87, A$10.70) and bone-in sheepmeat (RMB63.06, A$11.10) hitting all-time highs (Ministry of Agriculture of the People’s Republic of China). Chicken carcase and boneless pork prices were also each up 2 per cent on the past month, at RMB17.79 (A$3.10) and RMB25.58 (A$4.50), respectively; however, both prices were still 3 per cent lower than at the beginning of the year.

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