April 9, 2010
Australia's local and global beef shipments watered down in March
Australian shipments of beef and veal in the country reached 81,521 tonnes in March, 8% below the previous year, while overall exports have declined on-year.
The transportation and processing of cattle has been held back to date by widespread rainfall and flooding â€“ particularly across northern Australia - and this has contributed to much lower supplies of beef and veal nationally.
Meanwhile, beef exports to the US declined 48% on-year to 16,421 tonnes, which results from a combination of limited supply, high Australian currency, cheaper domestic alternatives and a desire among traders to keep inventories low. Shipments also fell 17% to Indonesia (3,364 tonnes) and 22% to Taiwan (2,295 tonnes).
However, exports lifted 10% to Korea (11,173 tonnes) with consumer spending continuing to recover, and 28% to Japan (39,283 tonnes), as demand turns stronger ahead of the Golden week holiday.
Cattle supplies are expected to improve in the coming months, with the official end of the rainy season in March. Despite this, Australian beef exports fell 6% in 2010 on-year, due to herd rebuilding and strong Australian dollar impacting returns.