February 6, 2013
Australian beef and veal exports have started 2013 at record pace, maintaining the momentum gathered during the second half of 2012. Exports for January surpassed the previous 2007 high at 55,147 tonnes swt, and were up 17 per cent year-on-year and 21pc on the five-year average. Australia’s beef trade with Japan during January increased 1pc on the corresponding period in 2012, totalling 16,964 tonnes swt. However, shipments were 6pc below the five-year average, as weak demand for chilled beef and increased competition from the US continued to challenge demand for Australian product. Exports to the US improved 1pc on January 2012 volumes and 9pc on the five-year average, with total shipments reaching 11,958 tonnes swt. Korea received 7790 tonnes swt of Australian beef and veal in January, up 16pc year-on-year and 17pc on the five-year average, providing a positive start for the year. The strong start highlighted Korea’s uncertainty around US supplies and strong demand for grassfed product. January shipments to China (4437 tonnes swt) increased eighteen-fold, while shipments to Taiwan (1781 tonnes swt) and the Middle East (3280 tonnes swt) increased 24pc and 115pc, year-on-year respectively, continuing the growth seen throughout 2012. The few markets that received reduced volumes year-on-year included Hong Kong (218 tonnes swt), Indonesia (1086 tonnes swt) and Russia (811 tonnes swt), with shipments falling 46pc, 8pc and 33pc, respectively.