Australia top red meat exporter by value

Zach RelphCountryman
Australia exported 65 per cent of beef, 73 per cent of sheep meat and 90 per cent of goat meat production last year.
Camera IconAustralia exported 65 per cent of beef, 73 per cent of sheep meat and 90 per cent of goat meat production last year. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Australia is solidifying itself as a major player in international red meat export markets, despite remaining a relatively small producing nation compared to other countries, a new study shows.

Red Meat Advisory Council and Meat and Livestock Australia’s latest State of the Industry Report for 2019 found Australia only accounts for about 2 per cent of the global cattle herd and 6 per cent of the sheep flock.

However, it marked the nation as a key exporter across global red meat markets as the world’s sheep meat, beef and goat meat consumption continues to hike.

According to the findings, Australia exported the most sheep meat last year and was the third-biggest beef exporter behind Brazil and India.

The document also noted Australia was the biggest goat meat exporter in 2016.

“Continued diversification of export destinations has allowed Australia to maximise returns and help mitigate exposure to market and trade risks,” MLA managing director Jason Strong said.

“Australia exported 65 per cent of beef, 73 per cent of sheep meat and 90 per cent of goat meat production in 2018, valued at more than $13.5 billion.

“This makes Australia the world’s largest red meat exporter by value.

“Australia is also a major player in the livestock export trade, exporting 1.1 million cattle and 1.2 million sheep, worth a combined $1.5 billion in 2018.”

RMAC chief executive Anna Campbell championed the report’s findings and said it was a tool for progressing market progression.

“Improving trade access into emerging and currently restricted markets is critical for the ongoing competitiveness and prosperity of the Australian red meat and livestock industry,” she said.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails