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Record Year Forecast for Australian Beef and Lamb Exports

11 March 2015

AUSTRALIA - The 2014–15 marketing year is forecast to be a record for beef and lamb exports in Australia and Australian livestock producers can expect to see higher farmgate returns, and improved farm incomes, over the next few years.

ABARES Senior Economist, Trish Gleeson, delivered this positive message for Australian livestock producers at the ABARES Outlook 2015 Conference in Canberra last week.

“With strong export demand and a more favourable exchange rate, the next few years are expected to provide higher farmgate returns to Australian livestock producers, and improved farm incomes,” Ms Gleeson said.

Saleyard prices for both beef cattle and lamb are forecast to increase in 2014–15 and 2015–16:

  • The weighted average saleyard price of beef cattle is forecast to increase by 19 per cent to average 349 cents a kilogram in 2014–15 and by a further 16 per cent to average 405 cents a kilogram in 2015–16.
  • The saleyard price of lambs is forecast to increase by 7 per cent to average 510 cents a kilogram in 2014–15 and by a further 15 per cent to average 584 cents a kilogram in 2015–16.

“Providing support to prices, rebuilding of cattle herds and sheep flocks are expected over the next several years after dry conditions resulted in reduced numbers,” she said.

“Beef cattle numbers are forecast to fall to 23.7 million in 2015–16, down from a peak of 26.5 million two years earlier.

“Sheep numbers are estimated to have fallen to 70.7 million in 2014–15, down from 75.5 million in 2012–13.

“Beef exports are also expected to be increasingly concentrated on our three traditional markets—the United States, Japan and Korea—than they have been in recent years.

“Australia’s competitive position with high-value markets such as Japan and Korea will be supported by tariff reductions under our free trade agreements with these countries.

“While 2014–15 is forecast to be a record year for beef and lamb exports, tighter supplies are expected to result in decreased exports of both in 2015–16,” Ms Gleeson said.


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