Beef Shipments Pick Up Pace In March05 April 2011
AUSTRALIA - Australian beef and veal exports continued to accelerate in March, rising seven per cent year-on-year, with shipments increasing significantly to several markets, including Korea, Russia, Taiwan and the Middle East.
Driven by rising global beef demand and increased beef production in late February and early March, exports for the past month totalled 87,471 tonnes swt - the third highest monthly total for the past two years. While an increased supply of beef facilitated the higher shipments for the month, global demand and prices continue to recover after a tough couple of years, helping to offset the very high Australian dollar.
Korea continued its fast start to 2011, with exports for March jumping 48 per cent year-on-year, to 16,555 tonnes swt - the third highest monthly volume on record, only surpassed in the final two months of 2007. Exports to Korea continue to somewhat defy expectation, given the significantly increased competition from US beef, with Australian exports for the first quarter of 2011 totalling 39,562 tonnes swt - 61 per cent above the corresponding period last year.
Given the devastating events across Japan during early March, trade throughout the month was very uncertain, with the longer term impact of such events still to be determined. Australian exports totalled 31,825 tonnes swt - which was nine per cent below the March average for the past five years. Year-on-year, beef exports for March were back 19 per cent , although this was further accentuated by very large volumes shipped in 2010 (39,285 tonnes swt) after a slow start to the year.
While increasing during March, Australian beef exports to the US continue to be constrained, with exports for the past month totalling 15,507 tonnes swt - the highest monthly total since August 2010, but still 32 per cent below the five-year average.
Shipments to Russia rebounded in March, increasing four-fold on the same period last year, to 5,892 tonnes swt. Exports also increased to Taiwan (3,569 tonnes swt) and the Middle East (2,417 tonnes swt), up 56 per cent and 100 per cent , respectively, on the same period last year. In contrast, exports to Indonesia declined 45 per cent year-on-year, to 1,845 tonnes swt.