Exports of Australian beef and veal are the highest on record, with soaring demand from China and the Middle East pushing the monthly total in May above 100,000 tonnes for the first time, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Joe Ludwig announced in a statement on Wednesday.|
According to figures from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, more than 103,200 tonnes of veal and beef were shipped in the month. The figure eclipses the previous monthly record of 94,693 tonnes in November 2006 and was 19 percent higher than exports in May last year.
Of the May record, the figures showed that the largest increase was to China, which took close to 11,500 tonnes, a 15-fold increase in May last year. China is likely to import 100,000 tonnes of Australian beef and veal by the end of the year.
Trade Minister Craig Emerson said he had spoken to meat processors in Australia who were operating at full capacity and exporting more than ever. "Australia's future prosperity is partly tied to capitalise on demand for high-end food from Asia's expanding middle class," Emerson said.
"Export figures like these show that many of our producers are already reaping the rewards of the Asian Century," he added.
Joe Ludwig said the emerging trend testified to the success of the Australian meat industry. "Food produced in Australia has a global reputation for its high quality," Ludwig said. "This is exactly the time to be investing more to capitalise on opportunities in new markets."
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