December 13, 2003



Australia Beef Exports To US Rose 13% in November


Export figures released by the Australia's Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) have revealed that beef exports for November fell 11% on last year to 71,943 tons sw. Exports to the US rose 13%, as prices in the US remain at historically high levels. 


The record high beef prices in the US over the past four months has seen increased volumes of Australian beef being exported to the country, with shipments in the past month totalling 35,290 tons sw, a record high for November.  The prospect of high export returns from the US has seen beef that would have otherwise been sent to other markets redirected into the US, with beef production in Australia down 8% since July and exports for the past five months up 8%, to 170,000 tons. It should also be noted that exports to the US for November made up 49.1% of total Australian beef exports, the second highest monthly proportion since May 1992, only surpassed by exports in February last year.


Taking into consideration the high beef prices in Japan, along with the steady appreciation in the A$ against the yen and the increased tariff on chilled beef, the 0.3% decline in beef exports to Japan for November could been seen as a strong result, with exports for the month totalling 24,795 tons sw.  For the eleven months of 2003, beef exports to Japan are 23% above last year, at 260,300 tons sw.


Subdued beef demand in Korea and more attractive alternative export markets has seen exports for November fall 52% on last year, to 4,176 tons sw, the lowest monthly November shipments since 1988.   Similar to Korea, Australia's beef exports to Taiwan (2,325 tons sw) in November fell sharply, down 29% on last year, while exports to Canada continue to be depressed, down 85%, to only 767 tons sw.

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