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Australian Beef Export Growth to North America Running High

08 May 2015
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - Australian beef exports to North America were much higher compared to last year during April, as the eastern states slaughter continued its fast pace, and the price of imported beef in the US remains historically high.

Meat and Livestock Australia said that shipments to the US were 55 per cent higher than last year, at 38,612 tonnes, and were 98 per cent higher to Canada, at 3,843 tonnes according to figures from the Department of Agriculture.

Mexico was essentially steady with last year, at 58 tonnes of beef – all thin flank.

Exports to the US were higher across almost every category - chilled, frozen, grass-fed, grain-fed, and most individual cuts.

The largest sector, manufacturing beef, was 47 per cent higher, at 25,872 tonnes, while there was good growth in chilled inside, thin flank and outside, and frozen thin flank and outside.

Chilled steak cuts, including cube roll, striploin, tenderloin and rump all recorded year-on-year growth of over 90 per cent, at volumes over 400 tonnes in each category.

Virtually all of the growth in beef exports to Canada was in manufacturing beef a rise of 143 per cent, to 3,197 tonnes.

Canada remains in a tight supply situation, with their herd having run down over the last five years, and large volumes of feeder cattle and cows being trucked to the US.

This has resulted in fewer cattle and less beef available for domestic consumption, particularly with the US dollar having appreciated, making it more expensive to import already dear US beef.

For the year-to-date, Australia’s exports to the US of 144,271 tonnes and Canada 14,452 tonnes, are both well ahead of last year.

At this pace, these volumes put Australia on track to exceed the annual quotas for both countries. In the case of the US, however, customs cleared imports, which the quota is based on, had only reached 108,139 tonnes as at 27 April – 26 per cent of the annual quota. Import volumes are yet to catch up to export volumes, and there is still an expectation that Australia’s slaughter will slow through late winter – limiting the volume of beef available for exports.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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