Brazil & Argentina increase beef exports to China
China is rebuilding its beef import business and South America is benefiting as export volumes meet demand. Brazil and Argentina increased beef exports in the first half of 2022, resulting in increased slaughter in both countries and the ability to ship more products abroad.
Australian beef exports are now tracking 6% lower for the year to July than the same period in 2021. The July total of 74,948 tonnes shipped weight was 8% below year ago levels, and 22% below the five year average for the month.
Lower beef imports into the US
Lower exports to the US are one of the biggest influences, as their high domestic slaughter due to drought turnoff depletes its import demand. The US took imported 15% less beef overall year on year for the month of June, with Australian imports for that month back 27%. For the year to July, Australian beef exports to the US are down 12%. Obviously Australia’s domestic slaughter levels are also still historically low, but they are expected to increase from here on out.
Australia’s beef exports to China have increased year-on-year over the past two months and are now 1% higher from July than in 2021. But it is Brazil that has benefited from China’s renewed appetite for beef.
Brazil’s beef slaughter is estimated to grow by 13% in the first half of the year, and exports this year are on record. After being blocked from the Chinese market for a sizable chunk of last year, that trade is back on track, with China taking 58% of Brazil’s exported beef for the year-to-June. China’s beef imports for June were up 43%, making up for a slow start to the year, with Brazil accounting for most of this.
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China is not the only market where Brazilian beef is doing well. Steiner Consulting Group said imports of its products from the United States increased 418% year-on-year from January to June. Brazil is the only country to see a significant increase in exports to the United States so far in 2022, but the Brazilian market still accounts for a small portion of Brazil’s beef export trade, compared to Australia’s market share of nearly 15%.
In Steiner’s latest Global Beef Market Review, total beef exports from Australia are projected to grow by 7% year-on-year in 2022, up 6% from the previous year, slightly ahead of total global exports. They estimate that Brazil will see him increase by 15.5% compared to 2021, while Argentina and New Zealand will see a decrease by 5% and 3% respectively.
On the receiving side, China’s total imports are expected to increase by 4% this year, while the US is expected to increase by 7%, Hong Kong will decline by 18% and South Korea by 2%.
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