AUSTRALIA - Exports of Australian beef to the US are continuing the strong growth that has been seen over the last year.
In March exports rose by 40 per cent compared to the same month last year, reaching 42,028 tonnes and seeing an increase in trade across almost all categories.
This brought the first quarter total to 105,658 tonnes, a 56 per cent increase on the first quarter of 2014 according to the statistics from the Department of Agriculture.
Meat and Livestock Australia said that should exports continue at this pace all year, it would put pressure on the annual tariff free quota of 418,214 tonnes. although the quota is based on import volumes, which at 30 March were just 73,270 tonnes.
Beef imported from Australia to the US out of quota has a tariff of 21.12 per cent in 2015.
MLA said that manufacturing beef remains the largest export category by a significant margin, at 65 per cent of the total for both March and the first quarter, but this is down from the 69 per cent of trade that it represented last year.
The major growth cuts so far this year include brisket, at 3,612 tonnes, up from 262 tonnes in the first quarter of 2014, rump, cube roll, knuckle and outside.
The value of exports reported by the ABS is a month behind the volumes reported by the Department of Agriculture, but for the first two months of 2015, the total value of beef exported from Australia to the US rose by 134 per cent compared to last year, to just under A$427 million.
On top of the higher volumes of beef being exported, favourable currency movements have helped the growth in value, as well as higher prices being paid by US importers for Australian and other imported beef, compared to a year ago.
TheMeatSite News Desk