February 16, 2015


Australia's beef exports to Middle East drop 13% in January



Australia's beef exports to the Middle East dropped 13%, or 3,160 tonnes, last month compared to the same month last year, according to the country's Department of Agriculture.


The decline covers all categories including chilled, frozen, grass-fed and grain-fed types.


Manufacturing, which is the largest among the beef classifications, decreased 8% to 1,193 tonnes. The decline was, however, offset by hamburger mince exports, specifically 76CL category, to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, said Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA). 


Topside, silverside and thick flank/knuckle also slumped in January. On the other hand, rising volumes were reported for higher-value cuts, such as tenderloin and strip loin.


In addition, lamb exports saw a 4% rise at 4,835 tonnes and were mostly mutton. The UAE was the biggest importer of Australian lamb in January, followed by Qatar and Jordan.


Despite a lower beef export figure in January, the volume delivered in that period was still "38% greater than the five-year average", according to an MLA spokesperson. "The year-on-year decline was (due to) slightly lower overall exports from Australia and strong competition from the US for manufacturing beef."


Among Australia's largest export markets is Saudi Arabia along with the UAE, Jordan, Kuwait and Qatar. But Aussie beef exports to the kingdom could be constricted by the potential competition of beef from Brazil, said MLA.