Article – Beef export record busted

6 January 2015
North Queensland Register
AUSTRALIAN beef and veal exports for 2014 registered a new record, at 1.29 million tonnes shipped weight – a staggering 17 per cent above the previous high recorded just 12 months ago.
Underpinned by the highest adult cattle slaughter since 1978, and strong international demand, shipments during December were 115,457 tonnes swt, with the US remaining the largest market, taking 40,815 tonnes swt, followed by Japan (26,845 tonnes swt), Korea (14,301 tonnes swt) and China (11,194 tonnes swt).
Meat and Livestock Australia reports that assisted by the highest December beef exports on record, shipment to the US finished the year at 397,890 tonnes swt, up 87pc from the previous year, with exporters capitalising on the high beef prices over the course of the year.
Interestingly, almost the entire volume of additional beef Australia exported internationally in 2014 compared to 2013 (187,525 tonnes swt) was directed to the US. Further emphasising the North American demand, exports to Canada for 2014 were 84pc, or 15,075 tonnes swt, higher year-on-year, at 32,972 tonnes swt.
Japan finished the year strongly, with monthly exports gradually creeping higher as the year progressed, to take the final figure for 2014 to 293,779 tonnes swt, up 2pc year-on-year – encouraging, despite Japan falling back into recession towards the end of the year.
Shipments to Korea were up 5pc, to become the highest on record for Australia, at 150,918 tonnes swt, with demand upheld by the limited US competition.
Exports to the EU continued to build momentum through the grainfed beef quota, with shipments for 2014 at 24,619 tonnes swt, up 24pc from the previous year. Indonesia completed the year with beef exports 35pc higher than the previous year, at 53,139 tonnes swt.
Shipments to China reduced 20pc year-on-year, at 124,586 tonnes swt, with trade interrupted throughout the year due to changes in import protocols and regulations. Exports to the Middle East also slowed somewhat, albeit to finish the year just 2pc below the 2013 level, at 59,803 tonnes swt.
The Australian beef export record has now been broken for three consecutive years.
It is likely 2015 will see a significant reduction in exports from what have been extraordinary highs over the past two years in particular, although in a historical context, volumes are likely to remain high.

Courtesy of the North Queensland Register