Aussie Beef Exports Valued at A$4.7 Billion in 2011

AUSTRALIA - Driven by surging export returns from smaller markets, the value of Australia’s beef and veal exports for 2011 increased seven per cent on the previous year, to 4.7 billion FOB (Australian Bureau of Statistics), reports Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).
calendar icon 9 February 2012
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Meat & Livestock Australia

MLA reports that while the much higher A$ throughout the year constrained export returns to some markets, the overall higher global beef prices, especially for manufacturing beef, and three per cent increase in volumes (949,195 tonnes swt - DAFF) contributed to the rise for the year.

At A$4.7 billion FOB, 2011 was the largest calendar year value for the past three years, and the fourth highest on record. The calendar year record for Australian beef and veal export receipts and volume was set in 2008, at A$4.99 billion and 957,000 tonnes swt, respectively – a year in which the A$ averaged 85US¢. In 2011, the A$ averaged 103US¢, up 14 per cent year-on-year, with its impact on price competitiveness felt hardest in Australia’s major markets of North Asia, especially for chilled product into Japan.

Continuing to demonstrate the diversification of Australia’s beef export markets in 2011, the two traditionally dominant destinations of Japan and the US only contributed to 51 per cent of total beef and veal exports earnings in 2011, at A$2.4 billion FOB. This is the lowest combined total to the two markets since 1999, and down 35 per cent, or A$1.29 billion FOB, on the record value registered in 2004, when the two markets made up 79 per cent of all export returns.

Individually, export returns from Japan in 2011 declined four per cent year-on-year, to A$1.66 billion – in line with the fall in volumes, as the lower returns achieved for chilled beef was partially offset by higher prices for frozen beef. Australian beef and veal export values to the US in 2011 totalled A$744 million, only down four per cent on the previous year despite a nine per cent contraction in total shipments.

Helping to offset the reduced returns from Japan and the US was a rise to almost all other markets, led by Korea, with total export returns jumping 22 per cent year-on-year, or A$411 million, to fall just shy of A$2.3 billion FOB. Since 2000, export returns to the Australian Industry from markets other than Japan and the US have increased 168 per cent, or A$1.44 billion FOB. Korea, Australia’s third largest export market in volume for 2011 (146,347 tonnes swt) surpassed the US in 2011 to become the second largest export market in value, increasing 22 per cent year-on-year, to A$775 million FOB.

Other markets to register growth in value for 2011 included Taiwan (up 37 per cent, to A$196 million), the Middle East (up 31 per cent, to A$167 million), China and Hong Kong (up 35 per cent, to A$131 million) and the EU (up 29 per cent, to A$129 million). However, while there was slight declines recorded to both Russia (down five per cent, to A$234 million) and Indonesia (down five per cent, to A$171 million) in 2011, total values remained well above historical levels.

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