Brazil and US Battle for Beef Market in Hong Kong

HONG KONG - Hong Kong beef imports increased 18 per cent year-on-year in 2007 to reach 64,992 tonnes swt, the highest volume for the past seven years, according to analysts at Meat and Livestock Australia.
calendar icon 28 February 2008
clock icon 2 minute read
Meat & Livestock Australia

Contributing to the growth was a 315 per cent surge in beef imports from the US (6,885 tonnes swt), and a 22 per cent increase in product sourced from Brazil (32,443 tonnes swt), despite higher prices being reported for beef supplied by both countries.

MLA said that beef imports from China, Canada and Argentina remained steady during 2007, with the majority (93 per cent) being imported as frozen. Reportedly, a significant proportion of the frozen beef imports were re-exported to mainland China.

Hong Kong received 2,470 tonnes swt of New Zealand beef during 2007, an increase of seven per cent compared with 2006, while imports from Australia fell by 10 per cent, to 2,791 tonnes swt, accounting for only four per cent of total beef imports. The competitiveness of Australian beef weakened during 2007, as the 12 per cent higher Australian dollar influenced prices and demand for the product.

MLA said that Australia remained the dominant supplier of high valued chilled beef to Hong Kong, at 1,797 tonnes swt, accounting for 40 per cent of total chilled imported beef.

Imports of chilled Brazilian beef also improved significantly, jumping by 111 per cent during 2007, to 1,134 tonnes swt, 25 per cent of the total chilled imports. Contributing to this trend was relatively higher prices for Australian chilled beef compared with products supplied from Brazil, despite the stronger peso also lifting Brazilian beef values.

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