June 3, 2011


Australia's beef exports down for May



Australian beef exports jumped 15% in May but fell 1.3% from a year ago to 84,661 boneless tonnes, according to the Department of Agriculture.


A strong Australian dollar and sluggish demand from key markets, including Japan and the US led to the fall in exports, marketing concern Meat & Livestock Australia Ltd. (MLA) said.


Australia is the second-largest global exporter of beef after Brazil, with the value of beef exports around AUD4.5 billion (US$4.8 billion) a year. About two-thirds of Australia's beef output is exported.


Sluggish retail and food-service demand continued to weigh on exports to Japan, amid intensifying competition from the US, MLA said.


Australian beef exports to Japan in May jumped 16% from a month ago but eased 0.5% from a year ago to 30,586 tonnes. MLA did not comment on the on-month jump in exports.


Exports to the US rose 14% from April but slumped 37% from a year ago to 15,141 tonnes.


In the January-May period, Australian exports to Japan totalled 135,600 tonnes, down 6%.


However, shipments to South Korea in May rose 4.1% from April and 5.3% from a year ago to 11,406 tonnes, continuing the strong pattern shown so far in 2011.

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