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China EU Boost Grainfed Beef Exports

19 July 2013
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - Total Australian grainfed beef exports during the 2012-13 fiscal year reached 198,158 tonnes, up two per cent year-on-year, with significant increases to the EU and China offsetting declines to Japan and Korea.

Meat and Livestock Australia said that while shipments were up year-on-year, exports were back five per cent on the five-year average, underpinned by the continued sluggish trading conditions with Japan.

Grainfed shipments to Japan totalled 121,400 tonnes for 2012-13, back six per cent year-on-year and the lowest total since 2002-03 (111,171 tonnes) - with subdued demand, improved US market access and the weakening yen challenging trade for Australia.

Manufacturing beef has traditionally made up the largest volume of grainfed shipments to Japan, and this continued in 2012-13 at 28,127 tonnes, up four per cent year-on-year. Brisket (17,727 tonnes), chuck roll (11,749 tonnes) and blade (11,034 tonnes) shipments, on the other hand, were back eight per cent, five per cent, and 10 per cent, respectively, year-on-year.

Despite shipments to Japan being sluggish over the past few years, it comfortably remains Australia’s largest grainfed beef export market.

While Australian grassfed beef shipments to Korea have surged over the past 12 months, grainfed beef exports were back 1 per cent year-on-year, and 4 per cent on the five-year average, at 31,909 tonnes.

Blade (5,136 tonnes) and chuck roll (4,726 tonnes) volumes were up two per cent and nine per cent, year-on-year, respectively, while grainfed shin/shank volumes surged 27 per cent over the same period, to 2,469 tonnes, as Korea looked to secure cheaper cuts.

At the higher valued end of the spectrum, grainfed short ribs (979 tonnes) and cube roll (888 tonnes) shipments were back 29 per cent and 34 per cent year-on-year, respectively.

MLA said that records continue to be broken into China, with 2012-13 grainfed beef shipments reaching 10,507 tonnes, up 429 per cent year-on-year. Brisket (2,034 tonnes) shipments, for example, were up significantly from the 125 tonnes exported in 2011-12, while shin/shank (1,214 tonnes) volumes were up substantially from the 80 tonnes sent in the previous year, increasing competition for Taiwanese buyers.

The improved market access into the EU, along with reduced competition from the US, assisted Australian grainfed beef shipments to the EU, with volumes up 82 per cent year-on-year during 2012-13, to 8,724 tonnes.

Silverside/outside (1,191 tonnes swt) and topside/inside (1,156 tonnes) were the greatest contributing cuts, up 70 per cent and 63 per cent year-on-year.

Encouragingly, MLA said that shipments of two of the highest valued cuts, cube roll (489 tonnes) and tenderloin (317 tonnes), were up 78 per cent and 76 per cent year-on-year, respectively, highlighting the importance of the improved access for Australian grainfed beef.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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