A beefy boom

Livestock | 4th April 2023 | By Matt Dalgleish

The Detail

Total monthly Australian beef export flows have seen the strongest result since December 2019 with 98,978 tonnes swt reported exported over March 2023. Compared to the flows seen in February 2023 the current export volumes are nearly 41% higher and it is the first time since June 2020 that monthly flows have managed to get above the five-year average pattern.

There has been a huge lift in demand for Aussie beef from South Korea with March 2023 recording the strongest month on record after beating the previous high of 18,368 tonnes seen shipped in August 2022. There was 19,933 tonnes swt of Aussie beef exported to South Korea over March, which is a 49% lift on the February trade and represents levels that are 43% higher than the five-year average flows for March.

China also saw an improved performance in March, with the 19,958 tonnes exported pushing Chinese demand for Aussie beef back above the average seasonal trend for the first time since August 2022. Chinese beef demand lifted by 59% from February to March 2023 and current export flows are nearly 27% higher than the seasonal average for March, based on the last five-years of trading.

After a number of years of weak demand the USA has seen beef export flows from Australia get back to average seasonal levels with the March volumes hitting 17,305 tonnes swt. The lift in US demand during March 2023 represents an increase of 48% from the levels seen traded during February 2023.

Meanwhile, the Aussie beef trade to Japan so far over 2023 continues to trek along mirroring the pattern set in 2022. There was 20,461 tonnes swt consigned to Japan in March 2023, which is a 23% lift in demand from the export flows seen in February. A lift of this magnitude isn’t uncommon from February to March, as the average trend pattern suggests. Despite the lift from February to March the current export volumes to Japan are sitting 12% below the five-year seasonal pattern for March.

A look at the Australian beef exports to “other destinations” (excluding the top four export destinations of Japan, South Korea, China and the USA) have also moved into above average territory with 21,322 tonnes recorded for March 2023. This is a 32% gain from the levels seen over February 2023 and represent volumes that are 12% above the seasonal March average, based on the last five-years of trading.


  • Beef
  • Cattle
  • Exports
  • Trade