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China Takes Growing Share of Australian Red Meat Exports

11 September 2013
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - Australian red meat - beef and veal, lamb, mutton and goat - exports to China during August reached new highs, at 24,465 tonnes according to figures from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

The monthly total accounted for 19 per cent of Australia’s total red meat shipments, compared to only four per cent in August last year at 4,617 tonnes, according to analysts at Meat and Livestock Australia.

The record volume was assisted by the highest beef and goat exports to China on record, at 16,192 tonnes and 632 tonnes, respectively, combined with the second highest sheep meat exports, at 7,641 tonnes.

Contributing to the record beef and veal exports during August was an increase in grain-fed beef exports, exceeding 2,000 tonnes for the first time, at 2,259 tonnes.

Overall, the cuts demanded in the largest quantity during August included shin/shank (3,738 tonnes), brisket (2,828 tonnes) and carcase (2,035 tonnes).

While August exports for these three cuts was steady to higher on the previous month, the volume of thick flank/knuckle, was down 10 per cent on July, at 957 tonnes, while topside/inside shipments rose 132 per cent on July, to 841 tonnes.

The second highest sheep meat exports comprised of 3,181 tonnes of lamb (the fifth highest monthly volume on record) and 4,460 tonnes of mutton (the second highest monthly volume on record). In terms of sheep meat exports by cut, carcase and breast and flap accounted for 69 per cent of total exports, at 2,756 tonnes, the majority of which was mutton carcase, at 2,422 tonnes and 2,510 tonnes, respectively.

Sheep meat manufacturing exports were down 13 per cent year-on-year, at 490 tonnes, primarily due to a substantial 21 per cent year-on-year decrease in manufacturing lamb exports, at 445 tonnes.

However, sheep meat shoulder registered record monthly volumes, at 963 tonnes, consisting of 663 tonnes of lamb, up from 41 tonnes in August 2012, and 300 tonnes of mutton.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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