… Australia’s exports from last month again benefited from further tariff relief… under the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement… Meanwhile the US, without an equivalent agreement with Japan…



China growth continues in Australia’s April beef exports


Jon Condon, BEEF Central (Australia) 

May 8, 2019


BEEF exports in April softened a little off the extreme highs seen in March, but remain well ahead in year-on-year comparisons, as many eastern states beef producers facing feed and water shortages continue to reduce cattle numbers heading into winter.


Data supplied by the Department of Agriculture shows April exports to all markets at 98,647 tonnes, down about 4pc on March figures, which represented the highest monthly total since August last year.


Last month was about 11pc higher than April last year, as high rates of cattle slaughter due to drought impact are reflected in export activity.


China remains a highlight in beef trade, passing 20,000 tonnes in volume for only the second month in history, and setting a new monthly record.


Several key customer countries recorded rises in volume last month, compared with the same period last year. Calendar year to date shipments tells the same story, with January-April exports to all destinations reaching 363,566 tonnes, up 11.6pc on the corresponding same period last year, inflated by herd liquidation.


Largest export market Japan accounted for 22,108t of Australian beef last month, down slightly on March, and back about 5000t or 22pc on April last year.


Year-to-date total to Japan has reached 87,845t, down 5.8pc on last year’s 93,900t.


Tariff impact


With April representing the start of the new financial (and tariff) year in Japan, Australia’s exports from last month again benefited from further tariff relief.


As of April 1, under the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, Australia’s chilled and frozen exports tariff rate into Japan has fallen to 26.6pc, down from 29.3pc on chilled and 26.9pc on frozen last year. Next year’s rate falls further to 25.8pc. Meanwhile the US, without an equivalent agreement with Japan, continues to pay 38.5pc for chilled and frozen exports to its largest export customer...