AUSTRALIA - Increased availability of Australian red meat (beef and veal, lamb, mutton, goat meat and offal) and the positive fundamentals assisted the March quarter shipments to South Asia, excluding China and Indonesia, according to figures from the Department of Agriculture.
Exports to the region reached reaching 13 per cent of Australia’s total exports, at 57,879 tonnes.
Meat and Livestock Australia said that Australian beef and veal exports during the first quarter lifted 44 per cent on the five-year average, at 25,860 tonnes.
The high shipments were assisted by a record March quarter volume to Taiwan (at 8,821 tonnes), Malaysia (at 3,980 tonnes ), the Philippines (at 7,524 tonnes) and Thailand (at 1,406 tonnes).
Despite lower US beef production and apparent greater focus on other markets, Australian chilled beef (particularly grain-fed beef) exports to Taiwan continued to be impacted by US presence.
Australian chilled grain-fed beef exports were 55 per cent less than the March quarter last year, at 275 tonnes, while chilled grass-fed beef rose 40 per cent, to 646 tonnes.
In contrast, chilled beef exports to Malaysia during the first quarter rose 35 per cent year-on-year, at 473 tonnes, with chilled striploin up 45 per cent year-on-year, at 113 tonnes. Australian loin (cube roll, striploin and tenderloin) exports to Malaysia have improved steadily over the past four years, with shipments for the first quarter 2014 at 437 tonnes (up 23 per cent year-on-year).
The increase to the Philippines was underpinned by manufacturing beef – up 58 per cent year-on-year, at 6,791 tonnes.
While demand for shin/shank reportedly was higher in recent months, the volume to the Philippines during the first quarter was down 22 per cent year-on-year, at 225 tonnes, influenced by China’s strong demand.
Australian sheep meat exports to South Asia during the first quarter consisted of 6,119 tonnes of lamb and 9,803 tonnes of mutton – both record volumes. This was assisted by the greatest quantities of sheep meat exported to Hong Kong and Malaysia.
In terms of Hong Kong, the top four cuts accounted for 92 per cent of total sheep meat exports. The cuts included breast and flap (at 1,695 tonnes, the majority of which was lamb breast and flap), carcase (961 tonnes, with 881 tonnes of mutton carcase), manufacturing (660 tonnes – all lamb) and neck (at 473 tonnes, with 388 tonnes of lamb neck).
In the case of Malaysia, carcase and shoulder represented 81 per cent of total sheep meat exports, at 2,835 tonnes (with 2,723 tonnes of mutton carcase) and 1,807 tonnes (1,245 of lamb shoulder), respectively.
Australian goat meat exports to South Asia during the March quarter totalled 1,680 tonnes (up 38 per cent year-on-year), the majority of which was destined for Taiwan (at 1,447 tonnes).
Australian offal shipments to the region increased 25 per cent year-on-year, at 14,416 tonnes.
While Malaysia (1,798 tonnes), the Philippines (1,352 tonnes) and Thailand (1,581 tonnes) took the highest Australian offal volumes on record, the largest destination within the region remained Hong Kong, at 8,153 tonnes (92 per cent or 7,534 tonnes was tripe).
TheMeatSite News Desk