A lacklustre lift
- Total beef export volumes lifted during May by nearly 6% to hit 76,499 tonnes swt, representing levels that are 25% under the five-year May average.
- Aussie beef export flows to Japan increased by 18% over the month, but remains 17% under the seasonal average pattern for May.
- China posted a 27% lift from April to May. Despite the strong gain, current Chinese demand sits 15% below the five-year average noted for May.
- Beef flows to South Korea were off 10% on the month, while exports to the USA eased by 3%.
The Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE) monthly trade statistics for May 2021 have been released and the beef export flows show some tentative signs of improvement, while also demonstrating the benefits of a diverse export sector, as beef export volume decreases in one destination is offset by a boost in demand from another.
Total beef export volumes lifted during May by nearly 6% to hit 76,499 tonnes swt. While the increase in flows was welcome it still represents beef export levels that are 25% under the five-year average pattern for May.
On a positive note, Aussie beef export flows to Japan increased by 18% over the month taking consignments to 21,865 tonnes swt. This is the highest monthly volume of beef exports to Japan achieved so far this season, but remains 17% under the seasonal average pattern for May.
China also managed to register an increase in beef exports from Australia, posting a 27% lift from April to May and recording shipments of 13,792 tonnes swt. Current Chinese demand for Aussie beef exports sits 15% below the five-year average noted for May.
South Korean demand for Australian beef product has been running well ahead of the seasonal average in recent months. However, during May demand has slipped by 10% to register flows of 13,018 tonnes for the month. This is the lowest monthly total for South Korea since the start of 2021 and the lowest May figure since the 2017 season. Current South Korean demand for Aussie beef sits 6% under the seasonal May average pattern.
Australian beef exports to the USA continue to flatline, easing just 3% during May to hit 11,560 tonnes swt. Beef export flows during May from Australia to the USA are trending 51% under the levels that could be anticipated, based on the five-year average pattern for May.
Mirroring the pattern of beef export demand from America, the flow of Aussie beef exported to the “rest of the world” (all other nations other than Japan, China, USA and South Korea) trekked sideways during May. Other countries took 16,264 tonnes of Aussie beef in May, a dip of just 3% from the levels recorded in April 2021.