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China, EU Boost Grainfed Beef Exports During 2012-13

19 July 2013
Meat & Livestock Australia

CHINA & EU - Total Australian grainfed beef exports during the 2012-13 fiscal year reached 198,158 tonnes swt, up 2 per cent year-on-year, with significant increases to the EU and China offsetting declines to Japan and Korea. While shipments were up year-on-year, exports were back 5 per cent on the five-year average, underpinned by the continued sluggish trading conditions with Japan.

Grainfed shipments to Japan totalled 121,400 tonnes swt for 2012-13, back 6 per cent year-on-year and the lowest total since 2002-03 (111,171 tonnes swt) - with subdued demand, improved US market access and the weakening yen challenging trade for Australia. Manufacturing beef has traditionally made up the largest volume of grainfed shipments to Japan, and this continued in 2012-13 at 28,127 tonnes swt, up 4 per cent year-on-year. Brisket (17,727 tonnes swt), chuck roll (11,749 tonnes swt) and blade (11,034 tonnes swt) shipments, on the other hand, were back 8 per cent, 5 per cent, and 10 per cent, respectively, year-on-year. Despite shipments to Japan being sluggish over the past few years, it comfortably remains Australia’s largest grainfed beef export market.

While Australian grassfed beef shipments to Korea have surged over the past 12 months, grainfed beef exports were back 1 per cent year-on-year, and 4 per cent on the five-year average, at 31,909 tonnes swt. Blade (5,136 tonnes swt) and chuck roll (4,726 tonnes swt) volumes were up 2 per cent and 9 per cent, year-on-year, respectively, while grainfed shin/shank volumes surged 27 per cent over the same period, to 2,469 tonnes swt, as Korea looked to secure cheaper cuts. At the higher valued end of the spectrum, grainfed short ribs (979 tonnes swt) and cube roll (888 tonnes swt) shipments were back 29 per cent and 34 per cent year-on-year, respectively.

Records continue to be broken into China, with 2012-13 grainfed beef shipments reaching 10,507 tonnes swt, up 429 per cent year-on-year. Brisket (2,034 tonnes swt) shipments, for example, were up significantly from the 125 tonnes swt exported in 2011-12, while shin/shank (1,214 tonnes swt) volumes were up substantially from the 80 tonnes swt sent in the previous year, increasing competition for Taiwanese buyers.

The improved market access into the EU, along with reduced competition from the US, assisted Australian grainfed beef shipments to the EU, with volumes up 82 per cent year-on-year during 2012-13, to 8,724 tonnes swt. Silverside/outside (1,191 tonnes swt) and topside/inside (1,156 tonnes swt) were the greatest contributing cuts, up 70 per cent and 63 per cent year-on-year. Encouragingly, shipments of two of the highest valued cuts, cube roll (489 tonnes swt) and tenderloin (317 tonnes swt), were up 78 per cent and 76 per cent year-on-year, respectively, highlighting the importance of the improved access for Australian grainfed beef.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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