Chinese demand having global impact, but means opportunities for Australia: MLA

Chinese demand having global impact, but means opportunities for Australia: MLA


New analysis shows that while South America is taking advantage of Chinese demand, Australia will still fair well.


Meat & Livestock Australia has released its latest analysis of the impact Chinese demand, due to the pork shortfall created by African swine fever, is having on global market dynamics.

The analysis indicates that with Australia's beef production forecast to decline in 2020, China will increasingly lean on other suppliers to meet their expanding needs.

To meet that demand South American suppliers are expected to continue building a presence in China.


In September, 17 Brazilian processors were approved for export to China, and in October Brazil shipped 65,000 tonnes beef there.

Brazilian beef exports for the year-to-September are now up 11 per cent 2018, with traditional Middle Eastern buyers unable to compete against Chinese demand combined with a strong domestic market.


Argentinian beef production is currently flourishing, albeit uncertainty surrounding future agricultural reform exists with the new incoming president.

Domestic prices for cows have just exceeded steers which highlights demand for manufacturing beef, which has driven slaughter levels in October to the highest point since 2009.

Export volumes to China are up 105pc on 2018 for the year-to-September making Argentina the top supplier of beef to China.


MLA analysis indicates cattle supply in Uruguay is tight with slaughter figures down 6pc 2018.

But it appears China is taking precedence as an export destination this year with it drew over 80pc of all Uruguayan beef exports in October.

As well frozen exports to the EU have dropped off as a result of the draw from China.

New Zealand

Traditionally New Zealand has been a key supplier in the US market, but with their focus shifting to China the percentage of exports to the US has declined from 46pc 2018 to 30pc this year.

MLA is forcasting that strong competition from China will continue to limit US imports, potentially leaving gaps in the market for imported beef.

Impact for Australian markets

MLA's analysis is that while South American nations are taking advantage of Chinese demand , Australia can continue to leverage off this increased competition to obtain value for their product in markets like the US, Japan and Korea.


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