According to Customs data highlighted by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), China imported 52,620 tonnes (t) cwt in September 2013. Australian red meat accounted for 46% of the total at 24,106t swt, up from 37% in September 2012.
China’s beef exports were particularly strong during the month, reaching a record 29,113t swt and bringing the country’s total beef imports for the year so far to 209,385 tonnes swt, a massive 794% year-on-year increase.
Australian beef shipments to China were up 12% year-on-year and accounted for 55% of the total.
Uruguay remains China’s second-biggest beef supplier, but monthly shipments were down 11% compared to August and MLA analysts said the country’s market share slipped 3% year-on-year to 26%. Canada increased exports of beef to China by 427% year-on-year in September, making it the third-largest supplier of beef to the country.
New Zealand continues to dominate China’s sheepmeat imports, accounting for 61% of China’s total imports in September. Australian sheepmeat shipments to China were up 126% year-on-year for the month.
MLA analysts added that Chinese retail prices for boneless beef and bone-in sheepmeat hit an all-time high in September, and should continue to climb.