AUSTRALIA - Australian beef and veal exports for the first quarter of 2015 finished eight per cent above last year’s high level, at 297,055 tonnes, driven by extraordinary cattle slaughter and a remarkably strong global beef market, according to analysts at Meat and Livestock Australia.
The record March shipments were 123,464 tonnes– 16 per cent larger than the same time last year – with strong shipments to the US, which accounted for 42,028 tonnes, up 40 per cent year-on-year.
The consistent high monthly volumes shipped to the US this year have taken the first quarter volume to 105,659 tonnes– up 56 per cent from last year.
The US will remain Australia’s largest beef destination this year, and the market is forecast to remain buoyant.
Shipments during to Japan during March were also much higher year-on-year (up 24 per cent), at 28,074 tonnes, taking the first quarter to 67,886 tonnes, up 13 per cent. Reduced competition from the US over this period, as a result of the west coast port disputes and an appreciating US dollar, assisted Australian trade.
MLA said that exports to Korea for March were 14,681 tonnes, up 15 per cent year-on-year, however after having a slightly slower start to the year, first quarter shipments were 34,342 tonnes, down three per cent.
Interestingly, indicative eastern states adult cattle slaughter for the year-to-date is two per cent higher year-on-year.
This suggests that with proportionally higher beef exports (up eight per cent), product on the domestic market is becoming stretched and may be reflected in higher retail prices over the coming months, MLA said.
TheMeatSite News Desk