Australian beef prices to remain strong, Rabobank

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 4th July 2016

CattleAustralian beef prices are expected to continue remaining strong says a new Rabobank report.

According to Rabobank’s latest ‘Beef Quarterly’, Australian cattle prices one again rose to record prices in June 2016.

The latest price increase was attributed to recent heavy rains which hit New South Wales and Tasmania last month.

“Australian cattle supplies remain tight and prices strong. Australian cattle prices are expected to remain strong through Q3, given ongoing tight cattle supplies,” Rabobank reported.

Australian beef is bucking the international trend with Angus Gidley-Baird, Senior Animal Protein Analyst at Rabobank, saying a lot of international markets are volatile.

“Volatility is a key theme across most markets at the moment,” Gidley-Baird said.

“A range of factors are creating a degree of uncertainty, including the economy and exchange rates influencing Brazil, seasonal conditions impacting Australia, the economy impacting China, and market volatility impacting the US,” he said.

What could Brexit mean for the Australian red meat industry?

Whilst Australian beef prices continue to remain strong, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) has said it is too early to know what type of impact Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) will have.

“It is still too early to speculate on what Australia’s long-term red meat access to the UK will look like and for the UK it is still very much a time of uncertainty,” MLA said.

“Current trade between Australia and EU (including the UK) will continue as normal in the short-term, for at least two years or more.”

According to MLA, the UK accounted for 64 per cent of all Australian beef and sheepmeat exports to the EU over the past decade. The overall value of Australian red meat exports to the UK in 2015 was AUD $221.3 million (beef AUD $120.5 million and sheepmeat AUD $100.8 million).

Although MLA says it is too early to know what Brexit will mean for Australian red meat exporters, it said Australia is a preferred supplier of high quality red meat to the UK and there is an eventual chance for growth.

“The UK imports around 45 per cent of its meat and meat products annually which suggests significant long-term prospects for growth of Australian exports to Britain,” MLA said.

The MLA also said it will continue to advocate for a Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the EU.

“Our industry welcomed the announcement to pursue a closer trade relationship with the EU and we are confident negotiations will still commence as previously planned, in early 2017,” MLA stated.