August beef exports continue recent decline, topping 77,150t


Jon Condon, BEEF Central (AU)



AUSTRALIA’S August beef exports slumped to their lowest in-month level in at least a decade, accounting for just 77,150 tonnes of chilled and frozen beef.


The figure is down another 4000t or five percent from an already-low July figure of 81,100t, and a dramatic 16,000t or 17pc decline from the five year average for August.


Last month’s exports were down only 1pc on August last year, but cattle slaughter was already in sharp decline by then, after mid-year rain.


Calendar year-to-date statistics show a similar trend, with shipments to all markets for the first eight months reaching a little over 580,0000t – a remarkable 140,00t or 19.5pc behind the same period last year.


All major and secondary markets are being impacted by Australia’s current tightly constricted supply. The statistics continue to reflect the record low rates of kill being experienced across Australia in the wake of continental scale drought the previous two years, leading to dramatic herd reduction.


After a national beef kill totalling barely three million head for the first half of the year, Meat & Livestock Australia predicts the full year result for the 2021 calendar year to reach 6.4 million head – a 35-year low.


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