Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA ) have recently published their future projections for the Australian Beef Industry. According to MLA the Australian beef industry is expected to begin 2017 as it ended 2016, facing tight supplies. It is projected that the Australian cattle slaughter will decrease by 3% in 2017 to 7.1 million head. This follows the pattern set in 2016 where the cattle slaughter dropped by a staggering 19%. As slaughter numbers are falling steadily, the Australian cattle herd is expected to increase. This will be the first increase in 3 years.
According to Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) beef exports are expected to fall a further 5% to 970,000 m/t (swt). Figures suggest that 69% of all Australian beef production is destined for international markets. In 2016 Japan overtook the USA as the largest importer of Australian beef. Exports to the USA fell by 42% , however it is anticipated that exports to the USA will stabilise in 2017.
It is expected that Japan will remain as the largest export destination for Australian beef while Korea will remain the third largest export destination. Exports to China fell by 37% in 2016 . One of the main reasons for this was the increased shipments of Brazilian beef destined for the Chinese market.