According to Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), China imported 21,977 tonnes (t) swt of Australian red meat in July – the second-highest volume on record. Australian product accounted for 56% of China’s total red meat imports during the month, up from 39% in July 2012.
Australian beef exports to China saw particular growth, hitting 13,452t swt. MLA said this was driven by strong demand for chilled beef, with volumes exceeding over 2,000t swt for the first time. Australiacommanded 51% of China’s total beef imports for the month, beating Uruguay and New Zealand into second and third place as the biggest supplier of beef to the market.
Sheepmeat exports to China reached 8,525t swt in July, giving Australia a 64% market share for the month. MLA said that in contrast, New Zealand exports to China fell 30% year-on-year to 4,509t swt.
Australia’s direct access to China has impacted on beef exports to Hong Kong, which fell 14% in 2012-13 to 7,843t swt in 2012-13.
MLA said that competition from Brazil and the US, which increased beef exports to Hong Kong by 49% and 93% respectively during the year, also contributed to the fall in Australian exports to the market.
However, it added that Australia remained the largest exporter of chilled beef to Hong Kong, with a market share of over 40%. In 2012-2013, chilled beef exports increased 11% year-on-year to 2,650t swt.
Australian exports also accounted for 40% of total Hong Kong sheepmeat imports in 2012-13, although these were down 14% overall, with Australian exports falling 22% year-on-year to 4,342 t swt as a result.