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Australian Beef Export to US Soar

06 October 2014
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - Australian beef exports to the US reached a new monthly record during September, at 47,238 tonnes – more than double the volume of September 2013, and almost 3,000 tonnes more than the previous monthly record of 44,320 tonnes in July 2001, according to export statistics for the Department of Agriculture.

Meat and Livestock Australia said that this brings the year-to-date total, after nine months, to 275,282 tonnes, 120,000 tonnes more than the same period last year.

While this very large volume did occur in the second largest ever month for total beef exports, one of the main reasons for the US being such a major destination is that importers and end users in North America have been willing to pay high prices for beef – especially lean manufacturing beef, which is Australia’s main beef export category.

Frozen manufacturing beef accounted for 72 per cent of the monthly total, with 34,082 tonnes – predominantly 90CL (12,146 tonnes), 95CL (7,617 tonnes swt) and 85CL (6,792 tonnes). T

his is almost entirely “A” beef (from the AUSMEAT definition for beef from cattle with up to eight teeth, excluding males with evidence of secondary sexual characteristics).

This high demand for lean beef in the US is a key driver behind recent increases in cow prices, which have averaged around 160¢/kg in saleyards through September, after trading as low as 113¢/kg in May.
Some of the other significant growth cuts in September included chilled brisket, cube roll, inside and tenderloin, and frozen shin/shank and knuckle. The US market remains primarily supplied with grassfed beef, which has so far made up 98 per cent of Australia’s exports in 2014.

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