Boost as Japan and China beef up protein demand

Zach RelphCountryman
More than 26,000 tonnes shipped weight of beef was sent from Australia to Japan last month.
Camera IconMore than 26,000 tonnes shipped weight of beef was sent from Australia to Japan last month. Credit: Katsumi Kasahar/AP

Japan and China’s hunger for quality protein is continuing despite the coronavirus pandemic, with the two countries remaining Australia’s top beef export destinations.

Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment’s data shows Japan and China received almost half of the 93,965 tonnes shipped weight beef sent from Australia to export markets last month.

Japan imported 26,751 tonnes swt Australian beef in March, while China took more than 18,328 tonnes swt.

Mecardo analyst Matt Dalgleish said the two major beef destinations were providing a boost to the nation’s livestock producers.

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“Australian beef export volumes are managing to hang in there despite COVID-19 disruptions to trade flows and supply chains,” he said

“China, currently in second spot in terms of market share, saw a 9 per cent lift in demand from February to March.

“However, the gold medal for growth in demand during the February to March period for Australian beef product goes to top destination spot Japan.

“Managing a 13 per cent increase in volumes on the month and extending their lead in market share from China to hit 25.8 per cent of Australian beef export volumes for the 2019 season.”

The USA and South Korea — Australia’s third and fourth biggest beef markets — both imported less beef from Australia year-on-year last month.

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