A happy ending

Livestock | 15th January 2024 | By Matt Dalgleish

Beef Export Summary December 2023

December 2023 saw 106,724 tonnes of Australian beef exported offshore, up nearly 14% from the volumes shipped during November 2023 and the strongest December beef export result seen since 2019. Compared to the five-year December trend the flows seen during December 2023 came in 20% stronger reflecting a robust end to the year. In total there was 1,082,405 tonnes of Aussie beef exported during 2023 which is the best annual volumes seen since 2019.

In terms of market share the USA accounted for the largest proportion of Aussie beef exports during 2023 at 22.7% of the trade. Japan squeezed out China for second top destination on 19.1% of the trade versus China’s 19.0% of total beef export flows. South Korea, ended up in fourth place on 17.5% of total Aussie beef export volumes.

A summary for the top four beef export destinations is outlined below.

  • USA – Managed the record the strongest December beef exports from Australia since 2015 with 35,763 tonnes reported shipped. The December 2023 flows represent levels that were 84% higher than volumes traded during November 2023 and 95% above the five-year average levels for December. During the 2023 season USA shipped in a total of 245,849 tonnes of Aussie beef which is the best result seen since 2019 when they took 251,822 tonnes.
  • Japan – Despite a relatively lacklustre year Japan managed to lift their demand for Aussie beef exports by 6% during December 2023 to see 19,014 tonnes shipped for the month. The increased trade wasn’t enough to get monthly volumes above average December levels, based on the last five years of the trade, with December 2023 falling 7% short of the December average trend. However, the lift in demand was enough to pip China for second top spot as a trade destination for 2023. For the 2023 season Japan took a total of 206,802 tonnes of Aussie beef exports versus China’s 206,191 tonnes. The 2023 season has been the weakest annual beef trade between Japan and Australia since 1991.
  • China – During December 2023 Chinese demand for Aussie beef exports lifted by nearly 14% to see 18,399 tonnes shipped. This represents levels marginally shy of the five-year December average flows, just 37 tonnes below the December average levels. However, compared to the December 2022 volumes the end to 2023 was a 42% improvement in the trade. On an annual basis China took 206,191 tonnes of Aussie beef exports for 2023 which was the strongest annual result since the 300,133 tonne seen traded during 2019.
  • South Korea – Aussie beef export demand dipped 15% during December to see 15,458 tonnes consigned to South Korea over the month. Despite the decline in the trade at the end of 2023 this still represents flows fairly close to the five-year average for December of 15,742 tonnes. Although the 2023 season ended a little weaker there was still a total of 188,923 tonnes of Australian beef shipped to South Korea over the year representing a new annual record volume. The 2023 season has beaten the previous record year in 2016 by around 5%.


  • Beef
  • Exports
  • Trade
  • Cattle