Meat & Livestock News

USDA Forecasts Surge in Australian Beef Exports to Key Markets

TL;DR: The USDA’s latest report anticipates a 9% increase in Australian beef exports, buoyed by a recovery in herd numbers following the drought from 2017 to 2019. Key export destinations, including the U.S., South Korea, China, and Japan, are expected to benefit from this expanded supply. Additionally, a significant uptick in live cattle exports, estimated at 36%, is predicted, thanks to favourable weather conditions boosting feed production and birth rates.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released a report projecting a notable uptick in Australian beef exports, signalling positive news for the industry and its major trading partners.

According to the USDA, Australian beef exports are set to increase by 9% as the country’s herds rebound from the challenging drought period that spanned from 2017 to 2019. This resurgence is expected to enrich supply chains, particularly benefiting Australia’s historically strongest markets: the U.S., South Korea, China, and Japan.

The drought, which severely impacted Australia’s cattle production, now seems to be a receding challenge as the nation’s herds show significant recovery.

This revival is further bolstered by an unexpectedly wet summer in 2024, which has had a direct positive effect on feed production, especially in the northern regions where a substantial portion of the country’s cattle production is concentrated. The increase in feed availability has naturally led to higher birth rates, laying a solid foundation for sustained growth into 2025.

Moreover, the USDA forecasts are not limited to processed beef exports. The report also highlights a potential surge in the exports of live cattle, which could see an increase of as much as 36%. This is particularly significant as it points towards a broader recovery and expansion of Australia’s cattle industry, encompassing both processed beef and live cattle sectors.

This optimistic outlook presented by the USDA is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of Australia’s cattle industry.

Despite facing severe adversities such as prolonged droughts, the sector’s recovery, aided by favourable climatic conditions and strategic industry practices, is set to make a pronounced impact on global beef markets.

As feed production continues to rise and herd numbers increase, Australia is positioned to meet and potentially exceed international demand for its beef products, reinforcing its status as a key player in the global beef export market.