OCTOBER was another huge month for Australian beef and veal exports, with a new record monthly total of 122,455 tonnes shipped weight pushing the volume for the year-to-date to well past 1 million tonnes swt (1,059,158 tonnes swt).
Meat and Livestock Australia reports that while the persistent drought conditions have fuelled the sustained high slaughter, offering considerable support to the situation has been the strong international demand.
The US maintained its position as the largest market, which is little surprise given the 90CL price averaged 685Ac/kg FAS during October, with 42,704 tonnes swt – double the volume shipped in the same month last year.
Highlighting just how tight US beef supplies currently are, for the year-to-October, Australian shipments to the US were 317,986 tonnes swt, 79 per cent above the same period in 2013.
Australian beef shipments to Japan have continued to pick up as the year progresses, with the 28,155 tonnes swt in October up 31pc year-on-year and now putting year-to-date volumes level with last year. Assisting the increases towards the end of the year have been the unprecedented production levels.
Exports to Korea were back slightly (2pc) for the month, at 13,448 tonnes swt, yet year-to-October volumes are up 9pc year-on-year, at 122,927 tonnes swt. Volumes to the EU were up 2pc in October, at 2050 tonnes swt, as the grainfed quota becomes increasingly utilised, while volumes to the Middle East remained high, at 4513 tonnes swt, also up 2pc year-on-year.
Going forward, given the below average rainfall outlook, slaughter is likely to remain very high through to the end of the year, driving high production and large export volumes, likely resulting in the 2013 beef export record being dwarfed.