Australian Beef Exports Slow In April

AUSTRALIA - Australian beef and veal exports eased during April, with the much higher Australian dollar and slowing export demand (especially from Japan) influencing shipments, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.
calendar icon 4 May 2011
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Meat & Livestock Australia

While exports for the month totalled 73,784 tonnes swt - back one per cent year-on-year, total shipments for the first four months of 2011 were still six per cent above the same period last year, at 279,888 tonnes swt (Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries - DAFF).

Also contributing to the decline in exports during April was a reduction in cattle supplies in late March and early April, following widespread rain across the eastern states.

Disrupted processing activities late in the month, due to the Easter period and ANZAC day holiday, also impacted available beef supplies.

With demand still very tentative following the natural disasters in March, Australian beef exports to Japan totalled 26,383 tonnes - 12 per cent below the corresponding period in 2010. Exports to Korea, while back from the near record totals in February and March stayed above year-ago levels, increasing 2%, to 10,953 tonnes.

Shipments to the US continued to be impacted by the very high A$ and increased competition from other markets, with exports for April back 20 per cent year-on-year, to 13,247 tonnes swt. Other major markets to record a decline for the month included Taiwan (back seven per cent year-on-year, to 2,519 tonnes swt) and Indonesia (down 76 per cent year-on-year, to 769 tonnes swt).

One market to record a significant jump was the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), namely Russia, with exports increasing 69 per cent year-on-year, to 6,950 tonnes swt.

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