Commodities and Futures News

Australia’s red meat exports surge as US beef production falls

2024.02.06 23:55



CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australia’s red meat exports rocketed final 12 months as a plunge in livestock costs made its merchandise extra aggressive at a time when beef production in rival exporter the United States is falling.

Shipments accelerated as the 12 months went on, pushing exports of sheep meat to a file excessive and beef exports to their highest since 2019, commerce information confirmed.

Australia is among the world’s greatest shippers of red meat. Its exports are more likely to be even bigger in 2024 due to low U.S. beef output and powerful Chinese demand, mentioned Matt Dalgleish at agricultural consultants Episode 3.

Australian cattle and sheep costs plummeted to multi-year lows final 12 months as dry climate triggered a sell-off by farmers anxious they would not have sufficient grass to feed animals, a lot of which had been despatched to slaughter.

In the United States, in the meantime, drought has shrunk the cattle herd to its smallest since 1951 and beef costs have risen sharply.

Australia exported 607,878 tons of sheep and goat meat final 12 months, up from 478,350 tons in 2022, and 1.18 million tons of recent and frozen beef, up from 926,576 tons the 12 months earlier than, commerce information accessed by means of Trade Data Monitor present.

The sheep meat exports had been value $3.1 billion, down from 2022’s file excessive of $3.4 billion resulting from decrease costs.

The beef exports had been value $7.6 billion, probably the most ever recorded.

For sheep meat, the most important driver of the rise in exports was China, which took 204,446 tons from Australia final 12 months, probably the most on file.

Shipments of beef elevated to China, South Korea and the United States, three out of 4 of Australia’s fundamental export markets for the meat.

Rainfall in current months has greened pastures and led to a partial restoration in livestock costs, however Australian red meat stays aggressive, Dalgleish mentioned.

Last 12 months additionally noticed a slight uptick in exports of reside sheep and cattle from Australia, although ranges remained far beneath previous highs.

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