Beef Exports Lowest Since 1997

AUSTRALIA - The combination of a very high AU$, which has eroded export beef returns, and a significant reduction in beef production since the start of October has seen Australian exports contract 17 per cent during November year-on-year. Total shipments for the month only reached 70,360 tonnes swt – the lowest November total since 1997.
calendar icon 4 December 2009
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Meat & Livestock Australia

While shipments to Japan for November were up three per cent on the same period last year, at 27,720 tonnes swt, they were back 22 per cent on the average for the past five-years (35,479 tonnes swt). Korea was also a steady market for Australian beef in November, taking over 10,000 tonnes for six consecutive months. Indonesian demand remained strong at 5,117 tonnes for the month, only slightly below the record set in October (5,347 tonnes) and 79 per cent above the same month last year.

Exports to the US for November fell to their lowest level since January 2008, at 13,115 tonnes swt – 55 per cent below the corresponding period last year. US demand for Australian manufacturing beef has been subdued in recent months, with higher domestic supplies, boosted by increased dairy cattle slaughter, and the stronger AU$ impacting US importer demand.

Given the sharp year-on-year decline in November, total shipments for the first 11-months of 2009 are down three per cent on 2008 levels, at 850,919 tonnes swt. With beef production expected to tighten over the remaining weeks of 2009, exports in December are also anticipated to be well below last years levels.

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