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Beef Exports in May Jump 3 Per Cent

05 June 2012
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - A surge in shipments during the final week of May pushed Australian beef and veal exports 3% above the corresponding month in 2011, totalling 86,886 tonnes swt – the highest May total since 2008 (Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries).

Contributing to the increase in shipments for the past month was an increase in beef production during the second half of the month, while a lower A$ helped to offset some of the impact of the global economic concerns.

The best performing markets for May included the US, Taiwan, Russia and Singapore. Underpinned by steady demand for manufacturing beef, Australian shipments to the US for May jumped 30 per cent year-on-year, to 19,742 tonnes swt. For the first five months of 2012, Australian shipments to the US have increased 59 per cent year-on-year, exceeding 100,000 tonnes swt.

Beef exports to Japan reached almost identical volumes to last year at 30,578 tonnes swt – halting a three month run of falling year-on-year shipments. While chilled shipments declined 11 per cent year-on-year, at 11,603 tonnes – it was the highest monthly volume since November last year. Illustrating a tougher period for Australian exporters in recent months, Australian shipments to Japan for the first five months of 2012 are down 11 per cent year-on-year, at 120,553 tonnes swt.

Year-on-year, exports to Taiwan jumped 15 per cent during May, to 3,744 tonnes swt, as robust demand for imported beef continued. For January to May, Australian exports to Taiwan were up 9 per cent, at 14,378 tonnes swt – placing it as Australia’s fifth largest beef export market behind Russia and ahead of Indonesia. Exports to Singapore for May jumped 99 per cent, to a monthly record 1,606 tonnes swt.

Shipments to Russia were strong again in May, to 5,422 tonnes swt, but remained 11 per cent below the corresponding month in 2011. Interestingly, exports to Russia have increased for every month so far in 2012 (coming out of the northern winter), with total shipments for the five months at 17,250 tonnes swt.

After a very slow start to the month, Australian beef exports to Korea finished May at 9,130 tonnes swt – down 20 per cent year-on-year, but at a much higher level than what looked likely half way through the month. Competition from both US and domestically produced beef continues to constrain demand for Australian product, with exports so far in 2012 back 34 per cent, at 40,870 tonnes swt.

Overall, May’s result illustrates the very mixed trading conditions facing Australian exports so far in 2012, with some markets experiencing rapid growth, while others have been struggling. For the first five months, total exports increased 1 per cent year-on-year, to 368,068 tonnes swt.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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