Report outlines resurgence in WA beef exports

Western Australia’s beef exports have rebounded over the past three years to reach record levels, according to the latest industry snapshot from the Department of Agriculture and Food.

The department’s WA Beef Commentary has reported between 2012 and 2015, the value of WA beef exports grew 170 per cent, from A$68 million in 2012 to A$184 million in 2015.

Department project manager Manus Stockdale said the resurgence, from a low in 2012, had been underpinned by strengthening demand from Asian markets and the United States, along with the easing of the Australian dollar.

“In 2015, the USA and Korea were the largest markets by value for WA beef, each accounting for 16 per cent of the value of WA beef exports, followed by Japan, Indonesia and China,” Mr Stockdale said.

Live cattle exports from WA rose 64 percent in value from $154 million in 2012 to $253 million in 2015 – the highest value reached in the past decade.

The domestic market remains an important market for WA beef, accounting for approximately 60 per cent of WA beef production.

Department research officer Kate Pritchett said the WA beef cattle herd stood at an estimated 2.24 million head in 2014-15.

“Between 2012 and 2015 there was an increase of 10 per cent for WA cattle slaughter and beef production,” she said.

“During 2016, WA cattle market indicators had been very strong compared to previous years.”

WA Beef Commentary is a biannual publication produced by the department, detailing market insights and the status of the beef industry, including production and export statistics.

The report is available from the department website

The department’s Northern Beef Futures program, made possibly by Royalties for Regions investment, is supporting the creation of new supply chains by broadening products, production systems and markets.

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