Beef and Veal Exports Up In September

AUSTRALIA - Australian beef and veal exports during September increased by eight per cent year-on-year, to 81,965 tonnes swt – the first monthly year-on-year rise since March according to figures from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries – DAFF.
calendar icon 5 October 2011
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Meat & Livestock Australia

Meat and Livestock Australia says that despite the very tough export conditions for Australian beef since April, largely due to the high A$, sluggish global economy and increased competition from US beef in Japan, total exports for the first nine months of 2011 remain 1 per cent above last year, at 693,570 tonnes swt.

A drier month and higher Queensland throughput helped to increase available beef supplies in September, while numbers remained relatively tight in the southern states. While the recent drop in the value of the A$ will be welcome news for exporters, this is likely to be partly offset by the deterioration in the global economy and resulting impact on demand for beef.

Exports to Korea continue to surpass last year volumes, with shipments in September increasing 29 per cent on the same period in 2010, to 12,115 tonnes swt. Exports for the nine months to September are up 21 per cent year-on-year, to 109,183 tonnes swt.

Another bright market for Australian beef so far in 2011 has been Russia, which has helped to offset some of the sluggish conditions from the key traditional markets. Shipments to Russia during September increased 30 per cent year-on-year, to 7,111 tonnes swt, with exports for the first nine months of 2011 up 63 per cent, to 46,365 tonnes swt – clearly establishing it as Australian fourth largest export destination.

While shipments to Japan increased by two per cent year-on-year, to 28,330 tonnes swt, trading conditions remained very difficult, with the increase for the month more reflective of the low 2010 volume.

MLA analysts said that it has been an extremely tough year for Australian beef exporters to Japan, with volumes for the year to date down 6 per cent, at 248,718 tonnes swt – the lowest January to September level since 2003.

Exports to the US declined by nine per cent in September, to 12,533 tonnes swt – maintaining the historically low volumes of recent years.

While the drought induced higher US beef production has somewhat reduced demand for Australian product, the majority of the decline in Australian exports in recent times to the US has been driven by the high A$, increased competition from other markets (namely Russia and South East Asia), along with tighter Australian manufacturing beef supplies.

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