Global wrap with Michael Finucan, MLA General Manager – International Markets

The conclusion of the G20 last month, and the US agreeing to hold off on tariffs on an additional $300 billion worth of trade with China, saw the relaxing of tensions between the two countries. While this looks to have somewhat stabilised the global trading environment for now, the US continues to push for bilateral trade negotiations with a range of countries. In particular, the US is looking to strike a free trade deal with Japan, and the US beef industry is eager to ensure they get tariff reductions on their product, which is currently hit with an extra 11.9% above the rate applied to Australia. Meanwhile, the US are also negotiating with the EU and India to achieve free trade deals. All these deals are complex and have potential to affect agricultural trade flows, and MLA will continue to monitor developments and potential impacts on the Australian industry.

As Australian red meat exports mark their second highest financial year on record, the industry is evaluating how supply will track over the next twelve months. With an eventual turn in the season and expected contraction of available livestock, product available for export will eventually come under pressure. This month we look at some of the driving forces behind this rally and how global beef exporters have pivoted towards Asia, and the impact high sheep turnoff has had on international markets. A big part of this red meat export rally has seen a significant increase in beef and sheepmeat shipments to China. With its growing importance in the Australian export mix, this week we look at how MLA is positioning the Australian red meat industry in China in what is a very complex and competitive market.

While China continues to influence Australia’s beef export landscape, Korea remains one of Australia’s most important beef markets. The Australia red meat industry has had a presence in the Korea for 30 years, which was celebrated in Seoul at an event to recognise the growth of this important market. Korea has developed from a quarter beef market in the ’90s, to now being a sophisticated market with full range of premium offerings for consumers. Australian beef has an incredibly strong position in the market, with Korean housewives recognising Australian beef as trusted and safe. The work of MLA in developing the “Hoju ChungJung Woo” (Clean and Safe) positioning and the True Aussie brand has been a significant but critically important investment for the industry, which has seen Korea remain a strong and vital market for Australia.

/Public Release. View in full here.