Big drop in Australian meat exports to Japan

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 17th January 2012

Latest figures from Australia’s Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry show that the volume of beef exported to Japan during 2011 was the lowest since 2003. Japan is the largest destination of Australian beef exports.

Australia sent 30,202 tonnes of beef to Japan in December 2011, taking the annual total to 342,186 tonnes. This was four per cent less than the amount exported in 2010.

According to Meat & Livestock Australia, Australian beef exports have been impacted by the high Australian dollar, increasing imports of US beef into Japan (on the back of the weak US dollar), and tighter supplies of Australian beef.

Growing demand for Australian beef from emerging international markets also challenged Japanese buyers to secure more products, particularly frozen and manufacturing beef items, according to Meat & Livestock Australia.

Despite this, the Japanese market remained the largest export destination for Australian beef in 2011, accounting for 36 per cent of total shipments. This was not withstanding the devastating March 2011 earthquake and prolonged stagnation in the Japanese economy.