Despite the turbulent past 12 months in the industry, the beef market will be gearing up for another “exceptionally strong” year ahead as beef exports hit a record high. As we enter the new year, we are proud to announce next week’s edition will include a copy of Prime Beef — the Countryman’s ultimate guide to the beef industry for WA’s stud and commercial cattle producers. Overall, Aussie cattle producers can look forward to a good year, according to Meat and Livestock Australia markets analyst Ripley Atkinson. “Compared to 12 months ago, the industry is in a very different but similarly positive state,” he said. “There is no question that the longer-term demand and fundamentals of cattle and beef production for Australia remains exceptionally strong.” Production has also lifted, with 397,000 head of cattle slaughtered in 2022-23. This was a 22 per cent lift from the previous financial year. WA exported 52 million kilograms of beef in 2022-23, up 25 per cent on the previous financial year, according to figures from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. Boxed beef exports in particular have soared, with the biggest market for it being China in 2022-23. Episode 3 market analyst Matt Dalgleish said this was because of the “more competitive” prices of Australian cattle in 2023. “Our animals are cheaper, and our meat is more competitive in export markets, so that’s probably accounted for some of the rise in volume,” he said.