May 13, 2024


Australian beef exports surge, the second highest on record



Australian beef exports have surged by 46% from April 2023 to reach 113,431 tonnes, marking the highest beef export volume for April since 2015 and the second highest on record, Meat & Livestock Australia reported.


The surge in exports was observed across most major export markets, with the US retaining its position as the largest beef market. Exports to the US soared by 127% compared to last year, reaching 27,257 tonnes.


Significant increases were also noted in several smaller markets across Southeast Asia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Exports to Thailand more than doubled to 2,141 tonnes, while shipments to Saudi Arabia surged by 235% to 1,602 tonnes.


However, there was a slight dip in exports to China, where volumes decreased by 11% compared to last year, totalling 14,888 tonnes. Despite this decline, Australia's beef exports are now more diversified than they've been since 2016, with exports outside of the top four markets accounting for 25% of the total in 2024 so far.


Last week, Brazil declared itself free of foot-and-mouth disease 'without vaccination.' If this designation is accepted by the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) and importing countries, Brazil could gain market access to several key beef markets. Brazil, the world's largest beef exporter by volume, primarily exports to China due to its market access, while its disease status restricts exports to Japan and South Korea.


Australian exporters benefit from a suite of free trade agreements (FTA), providing a comparative advantage in global markets regardless of technical market access. By 2026, Australia's FTA with South Korea will offer a 35% tariff advantage on most favoured nation (MFN) trading terms, while the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will grant Australia an 18% tariff advantage over MFN trading terms, benefiting both Australia and Japan, signatories of the agreement.


-      Meat & Livestock Australia

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