Middle East hits near record in September

Jon Condon, 14/10/2011

Reduced export competition from Brazil and tighter supplies of mutton have combined to deliver near record monthly Australian beef export shipments to the Middle East during September.

Our beef and veal trade into the region was the second highest monthly tally on record at 3988 tonnes. Business jumped 44 percent on the same month last year, pushing 2011 calendar year-to-date volumes up by 44pc, to 24,867t.

September's shipments were surpassed only just by a February, 1999 total of 3995t, Meat and Livestock Australia says.

Driving the increase for the month was manufacturing beef, which more than tripled in volume from August to September, finishing the month at 1821t. Manufacturing beef exports for the nine months to September are up 204pc on the same period last year, at 10,144t.

The big contributor to the surge in manufacturing beef demand came from Saudi Arabia, posting a 254pc year-on-year rise, to 3240t. Increases were also registered in Jordan, up 166pc to 2578t, along with Kuwait, which lifted 523pc to 1422t.

Solid demand also stemmed from the UAE, jumping 130pc to 1719t, while volumes to Iran rose from zero in 2010, to 913t in September this year.

While a weaker currency boosted Brazil’s overall exports during September by 13pc compared with August, the country’s total shipments for the first nine months of the year were still 20pc below the same period in 2010, at 609,897t. That’s been driven by the very strong Brazilian domestic beef market, luring product away from export markets like the Middle East.
Brazil’s export trade during September reached 74,170t, assisted by increased demand from Russia.

A 13pc decline in the value of the Brazilian Real against the US$ throughout September assisted export demand for Brazilian beef. The country’s trade to Russia jumped 67pc on the previous month to 20,276t, with Russian importers reportedly keen to fully utilise their import quotas before early November.

Although Brazilian exports to Chile for September declined 42% month-on-month, demand increased late in the month after Chile banned imports from Paraguay (Chile's main beef supplier) following its Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak, reported on Beef Central in August.

While Brazilian cattle prices eased somewhat in September, prices are still expected to remain at historically high levels for the remainder of 2011, although not yet approaching the record levels seen in October and November last year.


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