Australia’s February Beef Exports Reflect Lower Production


Australia’s chilled/frozen beef exports remained on a slower pace in February, with volume down 15 percent year-over-year to 90,774 metric tons (mt). Exports have been at or below year-ago levels every month since July. February volumes were lower to Japan, the United States and China, but higher for South Korea. Through the first two months of 2016, exports of 149,000 mt were 14 percent below the record pace of 2015, reflecting smaller production.

Through the first two months of 2016, exports were well below year-ago levels to the United States (43,232 mt, -32 percent) and Japan (29,489 mt, -26 percent), and down slightly to China (13,684 mt, -2 percent). Exports increased for Korea (24,868 mt, +26 percent), Indonesia (9,068 mt, +47 percent), the Philippines (3,651 mt, +81 percent), Taiwan (3,497 mt, +8 percent) and the European Union (3,362 mt, +21 percent).

Australia’s cattle indicator price notched above the A$6/kg mark again last week, but dipped back to A$5.94 this week – still up 37 percent year-over-year. In U.S. dollars, prices moved to new highs, reflecting a strengthening Australian dollar, and are now averaging more than $2/lb, up 32 percent year-over-year.

Sources: Australia Department of Agriculture and Meat and Livestock Australia