Australia has raised its beef exports forecast by 20%, citing conditions worsened by an el Nino weather pattern which has forced farmers in the world’s third-largest exporter to maintain near-record slaughter rates.
The Australian Bureau of Agriculture, Resource Economics and Rural Sciences is expecting the country’s beef exports to total 1.225 million tonnes in the crop year to July 1, 2016, up from its June forecast of 1.02 million tonnes.
The increased exports will help alleviate supply concerns in the United States, which imported record amounts of Australian red meat in 2014/15 after seven years of consecutive falls in the size of the US herd.
The stronger exports will be driven by higher slaughter rates in Queensland, the country’s largest producing state, the bureau said.
That will offset a slowdown in culling rates across the rest of the country.
Queensland is expected to bear the brunt of the dry weather associated with an el Nino that is predicted to peak by the end of 2015.
Farmers in Queensland have been plagued by drought for more than two years, which has wilted pasture and dried up damns forcing graziers to cull animals at record levels.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved