Continued challenging economic conditions, combined with relatively tight beef production throughout the past month have resulted in Australian beef and veal exports for August slipping 0.5% year-on-year, to 81,257 tonnes swt (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – DAFF).
Competition in North Asia, accentuated by sluggish demand and the high A$ have sustained the pressure upon Australian beef to Japan and Korea, while in contrast, exports continue to rise to the US. Exports for the first eight months of 2012, when compared to the corresponding period last year, are still up 0.3%, at 613,425 tonnes swt.
Exports to Japan for August were down 4.8% year-on-year, at 28,454 tonnes swt, largely matching the 4.6% decline in shipments for the first eight months of 2012.
Shipments to Korea (11,139 tonnes swt) declined 8.7% year-on-year, taking total exports so far in 2012 to 70,451 tonnes swt - down 27.4% on the same period in 2011.
Strong demand and favourable prices continued to underpin larger volumes to the US, with August shipments reaching 16,641 tonnes swt - up 19.5% year-on-year.
Indeed, the US remains Australia’s fastest growing market in 2012, with exports for January to August up 37.5% year-on-year, at 151,797 tonnes swt.
Records continue to be broken into China, with July’s record shipment (1,065 tonnes swt) being surpassed with 1,572 tonnes swt in August, almost double the corresponding period in 2011.
Total shipments to China for the eight months to August are 34.4% above last year, to 5,685 tonnes swt.
Taiwan (3,656 tonnes swt) and Singapore (1,357 tonnes swt) recorded year-on-year increases of 17.7% and 93.5% respectively during August, with total exports for the year to date 10% and 62% higher respectively.
Additionally, exports to the Middle East continue to remain robust, with shipments for August up 32% year-on-year, taking shipments for the eight months of 2012 to 19,706 tonne swt.
Exports to Indonesia were down 67.5% year-on-year, with 1,094 tonnes swt shipped from Australia in August. Russia followed a similar trend, down 41.5% year-on-year, to 3,127 tonnes swt.
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