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Beef Exports To Japan Down 28 Per Cent

03 August 2011
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - With a slow market in Japan and a high Australian dollar, Australian beef exports to Japan in July were the lowest monthly volume since December 2003 (except for January volumes when beef production is traditionally low).

The fall was a result of combined factors; the increased presence of US beef on the back of the weak US$, the high Australian dollar, Japan's slow economy, and food safety issues in the market, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.

Beef shipments to Japan during the month totalled 23,274 tonnes swt, down 28 per cent year-on-year, with chilled beef volumes reaching only 9,141 tonnes (37 per cent below 2010).

The drastic appreciation of the A$ over the last three months against the US dollar (up 23 per cent on average compared with the same period in 2010) and Japanese Yen (up 10 per cent), is in stark contrast to the weak US dollar, down 11 per cent on average against the Yen, resulting in increased price competitiveness for US beef exporters.

Other key factors that have impacted Australian volumes include the food safety issues concerning beef - O157 poisoning case in June and radioactive contaminated feed incidents in July - all disrupting overall beef consumption in the market.

While the fall in export volumes during the month reflected the extremely difficult trading conditions with Australia's largest export market, the limited volumes may also result in a reduction of reportedly high stock levels of Australian beef in the market.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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