Beef Exports Hit 14-Month High

AUSTRALIA - Australian beef exports continued their steady recovery during May, hitting a 14-month high, with increased shipments to the US, Russia, Korea and Taiwan.
calendar icon 4 June 2010
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Meat & Livestock Australia

Exports for the month, at 85,762 tonnes swt, were up 4% year-on-year, assisted by higher cattle slaughter since late April and a drop in the A$ throughout the month.
A feature for the month was the increase in exports to the US, at 23,871 tonnes swt – the highest monthly volume since May last year and 45 per cent above average shipments in March and April.
However, while shipments for the month were assisted by more lucrative returns from the US, with import prices averaging 12-30 per cent higher year-on-year for manufacturing beef products, shipments for the month were still comparatively low historically, down 15 per cent on the average for the past five years.

Reflective of a very slow production start to 2010, Australian beef shipments to the US were still 35 per cent below year ago volumes for the first five months of 2010 – still the lowest level since 1996.

After a relatively steady March and April, exports to Japan for May declined 10 per cent year-on-year, to 30,754 tonnes swt.
Trade conditions to Japan remain tough, as the economy and consumer demand continues to struggle. However, a reduced supply of grainfed cattle impacted shipments for the month, with total grainfed beef shipments falling 12 per cnet year-on-year, with chilled shipments back 18 per cent.

Korea continues to be a robust market for Australian beef in 2010, even with increased competition from US beef. Exports for May reached 10,831 tonnes swt, an increase of 36 per cent year-on-year, with exports for January to May up 18 per cent on the same period last year.

Despite some reports of sluggish buying early in the month, Australian beef exports to Russia reached 4,988 tonnes swt during May, as supplies from traditional South American suppliers continue to remain tight, namely Argentina.

Taiwan and the Philippines were another two markets to record an increase in Australian shipments during May, up 18 per cent and 29 per cent year-on-year, respectively. Shipments to Indonesia have cooled off in recent months, with exports for May back 18% year-on-year, to 2,490 tonnes swt.

For the first five months of 2010, Australian beef and veal exports were back nine per cent year-on-year, at 348,883 tonnes swt.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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