Slip sliding away

Livestock | 6th November 2023 | By Matt Dalgleish

Beef Export Summary October 2023

Total Australian beef exports rose by 6.5% over October 2023 to hit 105,131 tonnes swt. Compared to the five-year average for October, current export flows are running 19% above trend. This is the highest monthly beef export volumes have been since December 2019 and the highest October figure since 2019 too.  2019 was a particularly strong season for beef exports as the Chinese appetite for meat proteins of all types boomed as they were in the thick of the African Swine Fever epidemic which wiped out their pig herd and took a large chunk out of their domestic pork production.

A re-emerging demand for Aussie beef from China over October has seen Japan been displaced from second spot in terms of market share of total Australian beef exports. Back in August 2023 the USA wrestled top spot from Japan and now in October China has pushed them further down the pecking order. Chinese market share of Aussie beef exports sits at 19.5% so far in 2023, versus the Japanese share of 19.3%. The USA maintains the dominant position on 21.6%, while South Korea retains fourth spot on 17.6% of total export flows.

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

  • USA – Managed a strong performance over October with a 13% lift in flows over the month to 27,527 tonnes swt. Not a bad effort considering that Aussie beef export volumes to the US are already at historically high levels. This is the strongest Australian beef exports to the USA have been since December 2019 and the highest October flows since 2014. Compared to the five-year average for October this year’s flows are running 65% higher, a huge turnaround from the relatively subdued 2022 season.
  • China – Remained pretty consistent over October with export flows gaining 3% on the September 2023 volumes. There was 19,675 tonnes swt of Aussie beef shipped to China during October, which is 14% above the five-year October average and the best result for October since 2019.
  • Japan – Posted a marginal gain of just 1.7% on the month to see 16,563 tonnes of Australian beef consigned. This October saw exports run 5% higher than in October 2022, but compared to the five-year average for October flows are still pretty subdued with current volumes nearly 24% below the average seasonal trend.
  • South Korea – Remained on a strong trajectory with a 6% lift in beef exports from Australia over October. There was 17,502 tonnes of beef exports reported shipped to South Korea which is the highest Aussie beef exports have been since August 2022 and this October’s flows to South Korea are the strongest October volumes on record. Compared to the five-year average for October current volumes to South Korea are 25% above the average seasonal pattern.


  • Beef
  • Exports
  • Trade
  • Cattle