According to data from Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), beef and veal export values increased by 7% year-on-year in October, reaching A$475 million – the highest level since November 2008.
Export values to Japan decreased 16% year-on-year, reflecting tough conditions on the Japanese market. However, export values to the US, South Korea and China soared by 50%, 12% and 321% respectively.
Additionally, MLA said that chilled beef exports to Russia were strong throughout 2012, despite sluggish performance from frozen beef on the Russian market. Exports of Australian chilled and frozen beef fell 39% year-on-year in the first 12 months of the year, while chilled beef exports were up 33% year-on-year in November, and 13% across the year to date.
Although the majority of Australian beef exports to Russia are frozen, MLA said there were increasing opportunities for chilled products, with Russia recently expanding Australia’s chilled beef quota from 1,000 tonnes in 2012 to 11,000 tonnes in 2013. “Additionally, recent reports of Russia’s intentions to ban US beef treated with ractopamine may present an opportunity for Australian chilled product to fill any gap left by the potential absence of US product,” said MLA analysts.
Australia has also reported record lamb exports to the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), which were up 51% year-on-year to 5,571 tonnes. Exports for the first 11 months of 2012 were 50,189 tonnes, up 51% year-on-year and 67% above the five-year average.
Lamb carcases dominated lamb shipments to the MENA, making up 59% of volumes. The majority of lamb exports (58%) were chilled, with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain the top three exporters of Australian lamb in the region.