Australian red meat exports, particularly beef, reached a four-year high in October, with a 5% increase from September and a 44% increase year-on-year. North America has become the largest market for Australian beef this year, surpassing China, which was the second-largest market. Lamb exports also saw a significant increase, with a 17% year-on-year rise, and the overall sheepmeat export volume reached a record high.
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Exports to North America have been the clear standouts in volume terms, lifting 118% YoY in October to 31,577 tonnes. This has made North America the largest market for Australian beef this year, which is a substantial turnaround from 2022 when the US was Australia’s fourth-largest export market, hitting a 20-year low of 133,946 tonnes over the year. China was the second largest export market in October, with exports lifting 37% YoY to 19,675 tonnes. This means that so far in 2023, Australia has exported 171,587 tonnes of beef to mainland China, which puts Australia on-track to go over the 196,349 tonne quota-free limit set out in the Australia-China FTA before the end of the year, which would trigger the quota safeguard and impose an additional tariff on subsequent Australian exports. Earlier in the year, exports to Japan were trending below year-ago levels, as strong competition from US exporters, large supplies of frozen beef in cold storage and somewhat flat consumer spending ...