In this file:


·         China beef imports run hot but EYCI starts to dip again

·         ‘Tremendous opportunities’ for Australian premium beef



China beef imports run hot but EYCI starts to dip again


Vernon Graham, Queensland Country Life (Australia) 

15 May 2019


Beef shipments to China continue to run red hot but that hasn't stopped the benchmark Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) taking an unwelcome dip.


The EYCI shed 14 cents to close at 476.75c on Tuesday evening after looking like it was poised to crash back through the 500c barrier last week.


A return to good seasonal conditions is desperately needed to stop the sell-off pain which includes a record slaughter of female cattle.


However, the good news is that Australia's beef exports are going gangbusters with total exports lifting by 12pc year-on-year to 98,648 tonnes in April.


An ongoing outbreak of African swine flu (ASF) has China scrambling for meat imports.


Latest forecasts from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) suggest ASF will cut China's pig herd by 20pc.


Meanwhile, ABS slaughter data for March revealed the toll the drought is taking on female cattle numbers which will seriously hamper the ability of Australian producers to rebuild their herds when good seasons return.


Nationally, the adult cattle slaughter in March was up 19pc year-on-year to 734,000 head. Male slaughter fell 3pc year-on-year while female slaughter rose 42pc.


In March the female portion of the adult cattle kill rose to 58.1pc, the highest level ever recorded.


On a 12-month rolling average basis, the figure also set a new record at 52.6pc.


Australian beef exports to China jumped a whopping 62pc year-on-year in April to 20,600 tonnes, a hike Meat and Livestock Australia attributed partly to ASF along with growing demand for premium imported meat in wealthy Chinese households.


In contrast, MLA said exports to Japan totalled 22,100 tonnes in April, back 19pc year-on-year.


Shipments to the US lifted 12pc year-on-year, to 21,600 tonnes on the back of strong demand for grinding beef in the US.


Beef exports to Korea totalled 14,650 tonnes, up 27pc year-on-year despite strong international competition.


Total beef exports for the year ending April climbed 10pc to...





‘Tremendous opportunities’ for Australian premium beef


James Nason, BEEF Central (Australia) 

May 14, 2019


IT may come as a surprise given the amount of media attention given to the vegan movement in recent times, but global beef demand, rather than being in decline, is not only growing, but growing rapidly.


“Despite what you may think when you pick up the newspaper, global beef consumption is consistently increasing, and it is forecast to continue increasing at a greater rate than we can supply,” MLA’s regional manager for Japan and Korea, Andrew Cox, told last week’s 2019 Wagyu Edge conference in Adelaide.


While good news for Australian beef producers, it was also important to understand that prosperity would not simply fall into the industry’s lap.


It is no secret that Australian beef is facing intensifying competition from other well-organised beef producing nations, particularly in Asia which took 73pc of Australia’s beef exports last year.


A total of 43 percent of South American beef exports also went to Asia last year, in particular China.


The US has also now recovered almost all of the pre-BSE market share it held in Japan and Korea, with 41pc of US beef exports going into those two markets alone last year.


Apart from beef from other countries, Australian beef also faces strong direct competition in Asia from lower-priced pork and chicken, and the growing availability of alternative protein products such as plant based ‘meat’.


Volatility is also being driven by slowing economic expansion in key markets such as China, trade frictions from the ongoing US-China tariff war, and the uncertainty caused by the emergence and spread of African Swine Fever.


Five target cities ...