Grainfed beef exports to EU hit record levels

Beef Central, 14/01/2013

Australian red meat exports to the EU last year reached record levels, according to Meat & Livestock Australia.

Beef exports totalled 14,949t in 2012, 16 percent above export volumes in 2011. 

MLA said the increase was driven by the increased usage of the recently expanded EU grainfed beef quota. 

The quota increased from 20,000 tonnes to 48,200 tonnes in mid-2012, and its administration was greatly simplified, providing improved opportunity for Australian beef exports.

Australian grainfed shipments to the EU grew 48pc when compared to 2011, totalling 6,263 tonnes swt.

Importantly, grassfed volumes did not suffer as a result of greater grainfed shipments, with exports up 1pc, totalling 8,686 tonnes swt.

"The expansion in exports to the EU, despite the delicate economic situation in the region and the strong Australian dollar, illustrate the continued importance of the EU as a high value market for Australian red meat," an MLA report said.

Sheepmeat exports conversely slowed throughout 2012, with total volumes shipped down 4pc on 2011, to 15,851 tonnes swt. Lamb exports decreased 6pc, to 12,128 tonnes swt, while mutton shipments increased 5pc, to 3723 tonnes swt. 

MLA said the tough economic environment within the EU, particularly the UK, Australia’s largest market for sheepmeat within the EU, impacted on Australian exports, as consumers continued to look for cheaper protein options.

More EU supply workshops planned in Victoria

The Victorian Department of Primary Industries (DPI) will be running more workshops in February to help beef producers understand how to supply the European Union (EU) and meet all traceability requirements.

DPI Livestock Officer Sam Ellis said the EU was Australia’s highest paying international market on a dollars per kilogram basis and the tenth largest beef market for Australia.

“With the recent introduction of a High Quality Beef Grain Fed quota, which increased to 48,200 tonnes in August 2012, Australia has more access to this market than ever before and this is the first time Australia has had access to a tariff free quota,” Mr Ellis said.

“The Hilton quota of 7,150 tonnes per annum has been well utilised by Australian exporters.

“Cattle must be sourced from EU accredited properties for exporters to make the most of this high value market.”

“There will be general information sessions in the morning and skill sessions in the afternoons.”

Workshops will be held in:

  • Seymour, February 12, at Ken Hall Pavilion, Kings Park
  • Castlemaine, February 13, at the Tea Room, Botanical Gardens, Downes Rd
  • Ballarat, February 14, at Mid City Motor Inn, 19 Doveton Street, North Ballarat
  • Dookie, February 20, at Dookie College
  • Wangaratta, February 21, at GO TAFE, Rural Industry Campus, Tone Rd Wangaratta
  • Horsham, February 26, at DPI, Natimuk Rd Horsham
  • Charlton, February 27, at Charlton Football Club rooms
  • Boort, February 28, at Boort Resource Information Centre

To find out more about the general information and/or skill sessions (limited to 15 people) please call Sam Ellis on 0408 922 712 or email



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