Sunday, August 14, 2022

Less meat exported, but for bigger returns

Red meat exporters may be selling less product, but they are earning more for it according to sales data for May.

The Meat Industry Association reports that during the month exporters made more than $1.1 billion in sales, 28% higher than a year earlier, despite a 6% decline in volume.

The volume of beef exported was 1% higher but the value of sales was up 34% to $484m. 

MIA chief executive Sirma Karapeeva says the higher values were helping to absorb the impact of continued market volatility and higher costs.

May figures were not an anomaly.

“So far this year, we have exported 183,000 tonnes of sheepmeat, which is 14% less than the same period last year.

“However, the value of sheepmeat exports so far this year is $2.2b, which is 8% higher than the same period last year.”

It is a similar story for beef. 

“So far this year, we have exported 6% less beef than the same period for 2021, however the value of beef exports so far this year is $2.2b, which is 29% higher than the same period last year.”

Sheepmeat exports to China dropped in May compared to a year earlier, but exports to all other markets increased, particularly to the United Kingdom.

Despite the drop in volume, values of exports to China remained strong during May, with the overall FoB value for sheepmeat at $12.74/kg.

Beef exports to China increased 27% year-on-year and the 20,794 tonnes was the largest monthly volume so far for 2022. The value of these exports was up 27% to $207m.

The 5376 tonnes exported to the UK was the largest monthly volume since March 2020 but due to ongoing supply chain issues, only 8% was chilled compared to 40% per in March 2020.

Exports to the United States, down 30% compared to May last year, continues the trend this year of lower export volumes to that market.

“This can be attributed to increased domestic US production as a result of drought, impacting the demand for imported beef.” 

Prices for beef remained strong, and the value of exports to the US only dropped 5%, to $125m, compared to last May.

Beef prices in all the other major markets remained very strong, and the average FoB value increased to $10.43/kg.

It was also another strong month for co-products with exports worth $189m, up 26% compared to last May.

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