Beef ready to shoot sky-high

Beef ready to shoot sky-high


Stock and Land Beef
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All the Australian beef industry's "stars" have aligned except a big one - rain.

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REBUILDING TIME: A return to good seasons would spark a scramble to quickly rebuild the Australian beef herd to around 29 million head.

REBUILDING TIME: A return to good seasons would spark a scramble to quickly rebuild the Australian beef herd to around 29 million head.

All the Australian beef industry's "stars" have aligned except a big one - rain.

Ongoing drought has triggered an alarming erosion in the size of the breeding herd at a time when export demand for our beef is red hot.

Australia's cattle slaughter rose 10 per cent year-on-year to 8.12 million head in the 12 months to April while production jumped 6pc to 2.3m tonnes.

The extra beef hasn't caused much of a ripple in the market as eager consumers at home and overseas shout for more.

Despite the "war" on livestock farming being waged by radical vegans and the potential threat posed by plant-based "fake" meat, global demand for red meat is forecast to keep growing into the foreseeable future.

Meat & Livestock Australia market intelligence manager Scott Tolmie said global beef consumption was projected to grow by around 1.2pc per annum for the next seven or eight years.

Mr Tolmie said growing world population and wealth were steadily lifting demand for high-quality proteins like beef.

ALL SMILES: Meat & Livestock Australia market intelligence manager Scott Tolmie says the Australian beef sector faces a positive future but rain is needed.

ALL SMILES: Meat & Livestock Australia market intelligence manager Scott Tolmie says the Australian beef sector faces a positive future but rain is needed.

Notwithstanding unexpected headwinds like the eruption of a full-blown trade war (or an actual war) or disease outbreak, he said the outlook for Australian beef was positive, particularly in Asia where beef consumption was expected to grow to 26m tonnes by 2027.

The US has been exporting more beef into key Asian markets like South Korea and Japan but Mr Tolmie said the American herd was poised to enter a liquidation phase with numbers likely to peak at around 95.2m next year.

Americans have also been eating more beef which has reduced tonnages available for export.

A timely drop in Australia's exchange rate has also helped make the price of our beef more attractive to importers with the Australian dollar dropping from US80c to below US70c in the past couple of years and a rebound was unlikely any time soon.

Mr Tolmie said Australia had widened the diversity of its export markets since 1994 when almost 80pc of all our shipments went to Japan and the US.

Japan and the US still take around 54pc of our exports but South Korea and China had now joined them in our top four markets.

China's increase in imports had been spurred along by an outbreak of African swine flu which has devastated its pig herd, the world's largest, and likely to cause a 12-25m tonne shortfall in domestic pork production.

However Mr Tolmie said Australia faced major competition in the Chinese market with beef mega producers like Brazil, Argentina and the US all looking to increase their share of the booming market.

The story Beef ready to shoot sky-high first appeared on Farm Online.

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