August beef exports close to 112,000t

Jon Condon, 03/09/2014

Hamburg Sud's Cap Beatrice shipping export tradeWhile Australia’s beef exports during August came off the all-time record achieved a month earlier, volumes continued at historically high levels.

Beef and veal shipments for the month reached 111,872 tonnes, almost 10,000t down on July’s record, but still almost 14pc up on August last year, and among the largest monthly shipments ever recorded.

Calendar year to date, it means Australian beef exports have reached 818,095t, a mammoth 114,000t above the same eight-month period last year.

Again, the biggest contributor to strong August trade were Australia’s traditional customers of the US and Japan, with support from a basket of other markets.

This year’s strong and sustained rise in exports to the US shows no sign of slowing, with August export volumes reaching 37,450t. That’s about 1000t higher than July, and a dramatic 107pc rise (+19,500t) on August last year. The figure is easily Australia’s largest monthly export tally to the US since 2005.

Calendar year to date, exports to the US have reached 228,045t, close to 90,000t more than the same period in 2013, and suggesting Australia could go close to 300,000t for the full year.

Volumes to Japan also performed  strongly during August, reaching 27,049t, about 800t up on the previous month, and about 9pc higher than August last year.

Year-to-date, Japan has now taken 185,400t of Australian beef, down about 12,000t on the same period last year.

Korea appears to be re-asserting its historic position as Australia’s third largest export market ahead of China, responsible for 12,140t of chilled and frozen beef in August, down about 1000t on the previous month, but much the same as this time last year. Year to date exports have reached 98,000t, about 13pc better than the same period a year ago.

Impacted to some extent by China’s recent imposition of access limitations for chilled beef to just ten Australian plants, exports to China in August reached 9239 tonnes, back 16pc from July, and almost 7000t down (-43pc) on August last year. The August chilled component was just 667t, about half what it was this time a year ago.

Year to date, China has now taken 88,217t, compared with +93,000t for the same eight-month period last year, suggesting the growth cycle in Australian beef trade to China may have slowed or stopped – for the time being, at least.

Predictably, following recent retaliatory actions put in place by Russian president Vladimir Putin, exports to Russia collapsed further to just 150 tonnes during August, down from 3500t this time a year ago.

Trade to the EU during August totalled 2275t, down about 15pc on July, but still about 22pc better than August last year. Year to date figures reached 16,900t, a healthy 30pc rise over the same period a year earlier.

Beef exports to the Middle East for August reached 4300t, a substantial drop from July (6500t), and August last year (6300t). The year to date tally is 42,700t, back marginally on last year.

Trade into Indonesia in August reached 4300t, back 28pc on July, reflecting the solid increase in activity in live cattle trade this year, but a solid 86pc higher than this time last year. Year to date, Indonesia has now taken 37,400t, a solid 77pc rise, representing 16,000t, on year-earlier figures.




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