SOUTH AMERICA - Stronger Brazilian demand for Australian beef has been the catalyst for the rise in shipments to South America, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.
Australian beef exports for the January-May period are up by four per cent year-on-year, totalling 3,567 tonnes.
Exports to Brazil rose by 61 per cent for the period but, in contrast, declined by 14.5 per cent to Chile.
MLA said that according to Secex (Foreign Trade Secretariat), Brazilian beef imports during the first five months of 2014 rose five per cent year-on-year, to 18,998 tonnes– mainly driven by the World Cup, which starts this Friday.
Australian beef shipments to Brazil totalled 1,346 tonnes, up 61 per cent year-on-year, composed mainly of primal cuts, with frozen rump (mostly rump cap) representing 96 per cent of total shipments. Imports from Paraguay and Argentina also registered an increase, up 18 per cent and four per cent respectively.
In contrast, beef exports to Chile declined 14.5 per cent for the same period, to 2,221 tonnes. Interestingly, despite the lower total shipments, frozen exports increased substantially, up 129 per cent year-on-year, to 838 tonnes with thick flank/knuckle accounting for 87 per cent of total shipments.
MLA said that the deline in exports to Chile which were down by two per cent for the first four months of the year to 46,255 tonnes was driven by a higher cattle slaughter during the first quarter, a consequent increase in domestic supply and a substantial decline in beef exports.
Cattle slaughter during the first quarter totalled 209,651 head, an increase of 10.5 per cent year-on-year.
The rise is partially explained by the lack of rain during the spring and summer seasons, which compromised the pasture and forced producers to send cattle to slaughter. In consequence, beef production rose 7.5 per cent, to 54,030 tonnes cwt for the same period.
Chilean beef imports for the January-April period declined by two per cent year-on-year, with shipments down 25 per cent from Brazil and 19 per cent from Argentina, the major suppliers.
In contrast, Paraguayan imports rose six-fold, totalling 12,813 tonnes, a result of the Paraguay regaining full access to the Chilean market in July last year.
Chilean beef exports declined by 40 per cent for the same period, to 356 tonnes, having Korea as the major destination, at 129 tonnes.
TheMeatSite News Desk