By Garra - 20/05/2024 in Brazil and World

Australian beef exports soar with increased demand from the US

Australian beef exports continue to rise this year, driven by increased supply in the country and a surge in imports from the United States. In the first quarter of the year, shipments reached 275,992 tons, a 25% increase compared to the same period in 2023 and the highest volume for the first three months of the year since 2015.

During this period, exports to the US rose to 68,095 tons – a 79.4% increase or 30,000 tons compared to the same period last year.

Japan ranked second among importers, with 61,132 tons (24% more than in the first quarter of 2023), followed by China, which reduced its purchases by 8% due to current economic conditions, to 46,341 tons.

Australian beef exports sharply declined in 2021 and 2022 as the country rebuilt its herd after a long period of drought that shrunk the pastures but began to recover last year.

In 2024, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Australia will export 1.705 million tons of beef and veal, an increase of 9% (1.562 million tons) compared to the previous year.

US Imports

The US cattle herd reached its lowest level since 1951 at the beginning of 2024, due to natural cyclical factors exacerbated by the drought that affects the country and raises cattle feed costs.

The tighter beef supply and strong demand have forced an increase in imports. Scott Brown, from the University of Missouri, told the website Brownfield that importing beef from trade partners is not a popular move in the US industry, but it can bring some benefits.

 “We are by and large bringing in lean beef from countries like Australia and New Zealand,” he said. “The nice thing about that lean beef coming in is that we can mix it with fat we might have left over here from fed cattle to create more value out of those trimmings than otherwise would be the case.”

According to Brown, more trade is better long-term for the US livestock industry. “We want to break down tariff barriers because we’ll win out of that strategy by being able to export more products,” he stated. “This is about how we play fairly as well.”

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