Beef bounce

Livestock | 7th June 2023 | By Matt Dalgleish

Beef Exports Summary May 2023

Total beef export flows from Australia lifted by nearly 27% over May as increased production levels and lower domestic pricing levels saw more competitiveness return to the market for exporters.

There was 91,479 tonnes of beef shipped from Australia over May 2023, which is just 3% below the average levels for May according to the pattern set over the last five years.

A summary of the top four trading destinations is as follows:

  • Japan – Aussie beef trade to Japan mirrored the percentage monthly gains seen in the total flows with the volumes increasing by 27% to 19,366 tonnes swt. While this is a strong recovery from the lull seen in April it is still 25% below what you would expect as “normal” for May, based on the five-year average volumes exported for May.
  • China – More Aussie beef was sent to China than Japan over May with 19,569 tonnes recorded, representing an increase of 17% on levels exported in April. Chinese demand for Australian beef export remains above the average pattern by around 8%.
  • South Korea – Beef exports from Australia to South Korea have stayed above the five-year average trend all year so far and May has not been an exception with flows sitting nearly 15% above the seasonal trend. There was 15,648 tonnes exported during May, which was a 15% gain on the volumes traded in April.
  • USA – The American market for Aussie beef exports has improved considerably this year, assisted by red hot US cattle prices and much more competitive Australian prices, leading to some strong discounts in the spread between finished cattle in Australia versus the USA. There was 43% increase in beef export volumes from Australia to the USA over May to see 17,940 tonnes shipped last month, which is pretty much in line with the five-year average for May.


  • Beef
  • Cattle
  • Exports
  • Trade