AUSTRALIA - Matching the highest February beef export volume on record, Australian beef export values during February reached A$533 million, up 39 per cent on last year.
Taking the financial year-to-February value it was 29 per cent higher, at A$4.1 billion, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Meat and Livestock Australia said that total frozen exports were valued at A$354 million for the month, up 50 per cent year-on-year, while the chilled portion increased 21 per cent over the same period, to A$179 million.
The market value of shipments to Japan totalled A$101 million, up five per cent compared with February 2013, with both frozen (A$43 million) and chilled (A$58 million) export values higher year-on-year, up four per cent and six per cent, respectively.
Interestingly, MLA said, the export value from July 2013 to February 2014 declined by two per cent compared to the same period in 2013, to A$931 million, constrained by the continued strong competition with the US.
Buoyed by increased beef shipments, in particular frozen manufacturing and chilled topside cuts, February saw export values to the US reach A$120 million, up 50 per cent on last year and the highest monthly value since March 2009, with the July-to-February period at A$747 million, up 18 per cent year-on-year.
The frozen (A$84 million) value increased 33 per cent on February last year, while the chilled (A$36 million) portion was up 112 per cent over the same period, boosted by higher interest for grass-fed beef.
Values to Korea increased 40 per cent on last year and 30 per cent above the five-year average, to A$69 million, with the fiscal year-to-February value at A596 million, up 27 per cent year-on-year.
Demand for frozen beef during February increased 49 per cent on last year, at A$49 million, while chilled product rose 23 per cent, to A$20 million.
China continued to grow as a valued beef export market, reaching A$63 million for the month, up 35 per cent on last year, with heightened demand for frozen brisket and shin/shank cuts. Indonesia and the Middle East were both valued at A$33 million, up 203 per cent and 32 per cent year-on-year, respectively.
TheMeatSite News Desk