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Higher Chilled Demand Sees Airfreight Exports Rocket

23 August 2013
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - Australia has a major disadvantage when it comes to trading perishable commodities, such as red meat, around the world – distance.

As the demand for chilled meat in export markets increase and some markets enforcing strict shelf life regulations, shipping is not always an ideal method of transportation, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.

In the past 15 years, Australian red meat exports via air freight have increased more than three-fold, from 25,610 tonnes in 1997-98, to 82,416 tonnes in 2012-13. More recently, air freight meat exports have taken off – up 33 per cent year-on-year in 2012-13.

Air freight meat exports to the Middle East in 2012-13 increased 68 per cent year-on-year, to 51,131 tonnes, largely driven by greater demand for chilled Australian lamb. Approximately 85 per cent of chilled lamb destined for the Middle East in 2012-13 was air freighted, due to stringent shelf life restrictions on chilled meat imports. Air freighted lamb exports to the region more than doubled in the 2012-13 fiscal year, totalling 36,478 tonnes

Similarly, Russia has become a rapidly developing export market for Australian chilled beef, underpinned by recent growth in demand for chilled cuts into the food service sector.

Russia is the furthest market from Australia and exports can take up to 60 days by sea. Consequently, it is more profitable to export via air freight and explains why air freighted beef exports to Eastern Europe in 2012-13 increased 76 per cent year-on-year, to 1,760 tonnes, virtually all of which was chilled product into Russia.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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