Trade defies disruptions
Global meat exports have had the strongest first half of the year on record despite disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Meat & Livestock Australia data, global meat exports reached 33 million tonnes shipped weight for the 12 months ending in June.
Exports were up 5.3 per cent year-onyear and more than double the previous five-year average growth rate.
However, Australian meat exports have had to contend with tightening supplies because of an improvement in seasonal conditions.
This caused beef shipments to China to decline by 22 per cent year-on-year during the January and September period.
Year-to-September Australian beef exports to Japan, the United States and Korea have been less affected, back nine per cent, eight per cent and six per cent respectively.
Beef exports to Indonesia and the Philippines declined 11 per cent and 19 per cent, while beef shipments to Malaysia and
Vietnam eased by eight per cent and five per cent, respectively.
Australian red meat airfreight exports have been supported by the Federal Government’s International Freight Assistance Mechanism, which has been extended through to the end of the year.
In Victoria, plant processing capacity and exports were tempered by a second wave of COVID-19 and regional lockdowns across the state over the past couple of months.
These measures are now being loosened as COVID-19 cases subside, ahead of peak lamb season.
While tight Australian supply is expected to be an ongoing theme throughout the rest of the year and into 2021, Australia will remain a major red meat exporter.
Australia is expected to be the second largest beef exporter this year, behind Brazil.
It will also be the biggest shipper of sheep meat this year, as New Zealand faces its own supply limitations.