November 16, 2011


Australian beef exports to South Asia hit record high


Australian beef exports to South East Asia and Greater China during October rose 36% on-year, to 14,702 tonnes swt - the highest October shipments on record.


Exports to the region during January to October 2011 also increased 5% on-year, to 113,979 tonnes swt, boosted by double digit growth to almost all markets, except for Indonesia.


Australia sent an average of 26,000 tonnes swt of beef to South East Asia and Greater China during the last two months of 2009 and 2010. This year, with Australian beef production expected to improve, and demand from the region upbeat, exports to South East Asia and Greater China may break the 133,235 tonne swt record registered in 2010.


There has been a combination of positive factors behind the rise in Australian beef exports to South East Asia and Greater China this year. One of the factors has been increased government and consumer attention to food safety issues, particularly in China - in Taiwan due to the issue of US beef containing ractopamine and the Philippines in relation to local meat and the partial ban on ground beef originating from certain US states. China's retail meat prices have trended to all year highs, resulting in increased orders of Australian beef during January to October 2011. Limited access to Uruguayan and Brazilian beef in Malaysia supported shipments of Australian beef to the market, while the foodservice and tourism growth boosted shipments to Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.


Australian beef exports to Indonesia fell 18% during the same period, to 32,989 tonnes swt, largely influenced by the ongoing import permit restrictions. 


The composition of beef exports by cut to South East Asia and Greater China has not changed markedly this year, with manufacturing beef accounting for 37% of total shipments, followed by shin shank (14%) and hindquarter cuts (14%). Chilled beef exports to the region increased 25% during January to October and grainfed shipments jumped 29% on-year.

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