Australian beef export to Japan during August declined 5% year-on-year to 28,454 tonnes swt, largely due to an 11% fall in grainfed beef shipments, at 11,747 tonnes swt.
Adverse trading conditions, including tight consumer spending, the high A$ and US competition worked against Australian grainfed beef, while grassfed exports for the month sustained similar volumes to last year.
The anticipation of possible new import protocols for US beef may have also made the Japanese buyers hesitant to commit for mid to long term contracts, impacting demand for Australian product.
In contrast, Australian frozen grassfed beef shipments to Japan during the month were almost identical to last August, at 13,167 tonnes swt, supported by firm demand from the Japanese fast food and casual eatery sectors.
For the first eight months of 2012, Australian beef exports totalled 210,352 tonnes swt, down 5% from the corresponding period in 2011.
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