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Australian Beef exports hit 1.35m tonnes

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Helped by increased cattle slaughter, the Australian dollar steadily weakening against the US, and a shortfall in US beef production, perfect conditions were created for Australian beef exporters in 2014/15, with export shipments hitting 1.35 million tonnes slaughterweight.

This was 14 per cent above last year’s previous all-time export high and 35pc above the five-year average.

Dominating market share was the USA, where imports averaged 527 cents a kilogram CIF for the year, up 22pc on the previous year and 32pc on the five-year average.

For 2014/15, exports to the US amassed to 471,242t swt – the highest on record. The majority was made up of frozen grassfed beef (381,272t swt), but there was also a surge in chilled grassfed product, increasing 72pc year-on-year, to 76,282 tonnes swt.

Australian exports to Japan were also greater (nine per cent) than the year before, at 303,519t swt, underpinned by a 24pc rise in grainfed shipments – which accounted for just under half the total, at 143,686t swt.