In this file:


·         Australia’s July beef exports continue year-long struggle

·         Why Australian beef’s positive outlook is no mistake



Australia’s July beef exports continue year-long struggle


Beef Central (Australia)



AUSTRALIAN beef exports for the month of July have continued to languish – as they have all year – under the burden of low rates of slaughter, logistics challenges and other factors.


Volumes shipped to all markets last month reached just 74,949 tonnes, down 6pc on the previous month. Unfortunately comparisons with July last year are now less relevant, because production volumes a year ago were by that stage well down, due to the earlier effects of drought and herd rebuilding.


The July result is not surprising, given that Australian weekly beef slaughter only reached 100,000 head for the first time this year the week before last. A long-term weekly kill average is somewhere around 135,000 head, and often at this time of the year, closer to 150,000.


The same trend is apparent in calendar year-to-date exports, covering shipments made from January 1 to July 31.


Total volume for the period this year has reached 473,424t, down 6pc on last year, but a massive 195,000t or 28pc lower than the same six-month period in 2020.


All destinations with the exception of Korea are reflecting the broader trend last month, with volumes well-down across most parts of North and South Asia, North America, Europe and the Middle East.


Largest and highest value export customer, Japan...





Why Australian beef’s positive outlook is no mistake


James Nason, Beef Central (Australia)



Despite what short term headlines might suggest, the long-term global dynamics driving demand for Australian red meat remain very positive, this morning’s Australian Brahman Breeder’s Association ‘Brahman Beef for the Future’ Conference was told.


Talking about what is in front of Australia’s red meat industry looking forward, Meat & Livestock Australia managing director Jason Strong said it shouldn’t come as any surprise for producers to hear that the outlook is “very positive”.


“There is no reason to be otherwise, despite what you might see, or read, or hear,” he said.


After a massive decline in the national cattle numbers in 2018-19, the herd was now recovering faster than had ever been seen before, with higher than average rainfalls and increased temperatures still being forecast and underpinning the continuation of a positive production outlook.


The industry is also actually seeing a faster increase in the slaughter rate at the same time, which was being achieved through increased productivity.


This included a 37kg increase per carcase since 2019. Based on a dressed weight price of 810c/kg (conservatively below this morning’s EYCI market level of around 900c/kg), that equates to an additional $300 per carcase in value.


Export value was also growing faster than might have been expected.


Despite less total export volume, Australia was returning more value for the product it is exporting.


“So we’re growing our herd, we’re increasing our turnoff, we’re increasing our carcase weights, and we’re actually doing that at higher prices.


“So the productivity position of the industry is incredibly positive, and there are some big underlying reasons for this.”


One of the challenges facing the industry is that “we are continually surprised by our success”.


But the industry had not arrived in its current strong position “by mistake”, he said.


“The industry’s had a series of strategic plans in place over the last 25 years and they have all been pretty ambitious…


“And what we’re seeing at the moment in our current market environments and the current opportunities in front of us is the culmination of all of those efforts across our industry.”


‘We have to stop being surprised by our success’ ...