CHINESE red meat imports during 2012-13 surged 214 per cent year-on-year, with Australia its largest red meat supplier over the 12 months.
Meat and Livestock Australia reports Chinese red meat imports reached 373,942 tonnes shipped weight for 2012-13, comprising 177,345 tonnes of beef, up 711pc on 2011-12, and 196,597 tonnes of sheepmeat, up 102pc.
Australia’s red meat supplies to China during 2012-13 reaching 162,015 tonnes, up 243pc on 2011-12 and representing 43pc of total imports.
Chinese imports of Australian beef showed rapid growth, up 935pc year-on-year at 83,764 tonnes, with China’s intake of Australian chilled beef reaching 6958 tonnes, up significantly from only 371 tonnes in 2011-12.
Australia accounted for 96pc of the chilled market sector in China. Imports of Australian frozen beef also increased dramatically, up 895pc year-on-year, to 76,806 tonnes.
The surge has been buoyed China’s continued strong demand for imported beef, along with China’s ban on Brazilian beef since December last year, according to MLA.
Australian beef market share (chilled and frozen) has moved from 37pc in 2011-12, to 47pc in 2012-13.
China imported a total of 78,251 tonnes of Australian sheepmeat during 2012-13, up 100pc on 2011-12, making Australia the second largest sheepmeat supplier after New Zealand.
China’s imports of NZ red meat during 2012-13 rose 136pc on 2011-12 to 141,199 tonnes, with the volume of NZ beef lifting 621pc to 27,531 tonnes.
NZ remained the largest sheepmeat supplier to China during 2012-13 (58pc of imports), with shipments totalling 113,668 tonnes, up 103pc on 2011-12.
Following Australia and NZ was Uruguay, with China’s intake of Uruguayan red meat during 2012-13 rising 427pc on 2011-12 to 47,227 tonnes.
While the volume of Uruguayan beef into China climbed to 42,549 tonnes (up 508pc on 2011-12), Uruguayan market share shrunk to 24pc in 2012-13, from 32pc in 2011-12.
China took 4678 tonnes of Uruguayan sheepmeat in 2012-13, up 139pc.