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Australian beef exports set record in 2008

Australian beef exports hit record levels in 2008 as sales to emerging markets such as Russia offset downturns in major markets including Japan and the U. S.

Australia exported 957,479 tonnes of beef in 2008, up two per cent on the previous year and surpassing the previous record of 953,932 tonnes set in 2006, industry body Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) said Jan. 8.

A sharp fall in competition from Brazil, the world’s top exporter, was largely behind the surge in demand from Russia, Southeast Asia and the European Union in 2008, MLA said.

Brazil faced import restrictions imposed by the EU that was concerned about the country’s foot-and-mouth disease checks while domestic consumption in Brazil also rose, leaving Australia, the world’s second-ranked beef exporter, to fill the gap.

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