Exports down and the (grave) issue of floods. Australia’s meat chain is currently having a complex time, because while the Meat and Livestock institute certifies that sales to foreign countries were down 14.6% in 2021, the New South Wales and Queensland regions are fighting against floods that, in terms, have caused a slowdown in the business.
The country exported 14.6% less bovine meat in 2021 than the previous year, according to Meat and Livestock Australia. During the past year, Australian slaughterhouses sold 887,682 tons of meat. The top buyer is Japan, with 216,000 tons, but still down 13% on 2020. This, according to analysts, is due to the internal increase in production, while demand decreased also due to supply chain difficulties during the pandemic. Additionally, the increase in cost for Australian meat has apparently led the Japanese to look for another source. Prices, in fact, have gone up 7.6%. the only foreign market showing a positive sign is South Korea, up from 161,000 tons to 165,000 tons. Another aspect to keep in mind is that Australia is currently rebuilding its livestock numbers.
Floods hitting in New South Wales and Queensland on the last week of February are another element threatening the segment’s performances, having important repercussions. As reported by beefcentral.com, there have been between 350 and 600 millimeters of rain on most of the coast, where Australia has the majority of its meat processing sites. Most sites in the Queensland remained closed for days, while the Brisbane port, from which cargo filled with meat is shipped, temporarily suspended activities. So, on March 5th, slaughterhouses closed with a 15% decrease, or 14,000 units. The Queensland recorded -25% on the previous period, and New South Wales -10%.