September beef exports continue at slow pace, reaching just 79,843t


Jon Condon, BEEF Central (AU) 



FOLLOWING a familiar pattern seen throughout 2021, Australia’s September beef exports continued to struggle, producing historically low trade volumes for this time of year.


Total chilled and frozen product to all markets last month reached just 79,843t, the lowest September level in at least ten years, according to DAF figures released this morning.


All major and secondary markets continue to be impacted by Australia’s current tightly constricted supply. The statistics 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.


Year-on-year monthly comparisons are now much less dramatic, because by September last year, Australian beef production volume had dropped substantially, as the national herd recovery process set in after drought-relieving rain.


It means that last month’s volume of 79,843t actually represented a 7200t increase on this time last year, but that was coming off a very low base. For example, in the previous 2019 year, September export volumes in the depths of the drought were at fever-pitch, delivering more than 105,000t to overseas customers – about 24pc higher than last month’s activity.


On top of supply-side livestock challenges, exporters continue to struggle with serious logistical challenges in getting beef out of the country. That includes shipping access...