Aussie and Kiwi's beef exports are growing
China's appetite for beef keeps growing and there are two countries in the region that are capitalizing on this: Australia and New Zealand. "Between January and April 2019, export volumes have grown 15%, to 377,800 tonnes product weight, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Much of the growth can be attributed to China, perhaps a clear indication that China is offsetting some of its lack of pork with alternative proteins. The only large market not to record growth is Japan, the largest market for Australian beef, which recorded a small year-on-year decline", according to an AHDB analysis.
Meanwhile, production in New Zealand has increased 6% year-on-year between January and May, to total 360,000 tonnes, according to the Ministry of Primary Industries data. Exports from New Zealand have also been up so far this year at 168,000 tonnes (+9.5%), according to Statistics New Zealand. Much of the growth is in shipments to China, almost double compared with last year.
For Australia, boxed red meat exports (in value) have reached A$4.34 billion for the year-to-April, up a significant 26% on the same period for 2018, with beef accounting for A$2.95 billion.
"This is the first time past $4 billion and only the second time exports have exceeded the A$3.5 billion mark for the first four months of the year. This large increase has been driven by drought-induced stock turn off, strong demand from many key export markets and a dropping Australian dollar assisting the competitiveness of Australian exports," mentioned Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).
Nevertheless, official data shows that Australian breeding herd is decreasing due to a sustained surge in female slaughter motivated by a long dry season. Nationally, 2.6 million head of cattle were processed from January to April, up 10% year-on-year. In March and April, female slaughter totaled 58% of total adult cattle slaughter. " Consecutive months of record elevated female slaughter signal an additional wave of destocking, eroding the breeding herd and significantly hampering the ability of the herd to rebuild in the short term, once conditions improve", signals MLA.