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Australia Livestock and Products Semi-Annual - February 2006

by 5m Editor
10 February 2006, at 12:00am

By USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service - This article provides the pork industry data from the USDA FAS Livestock and Products Semi-Annual 2006 report for Australia. A link to the full report is also provided. The full report includes all the tabular data which we have omitted from this article.

Swine: Inventory

Total inventory for CY 2006 is forecast to close slightly higher at 2.6 million head. Improved seasonal conditions greatly improved the supply of feed grain and lowered the relative costs associated with feeding, allowing inventories to expand.

Slaughter

Slaughter for CY 2006 is forecast at 5.37 million head, up slightly on the 5.32 million head forecast for the previous year. Higher sow numbers are expected to push the availability of pigs available for slaughter slightly higher in CY 2006.

Production

Pig meat production is forecast to increase in CY 2006 to 393 TMT from the 385 TMT estimated from the previous year. Production increases will likely be driven by higher anticipated slaughter. This forecast, if achieved signals a turnaround in the year-on-year decline in (year-ending) production numbers, which began midway through CY 2003. According to industry data, Australia pig meat production peaked at 421 TMT for the year ending July 2003. Year ending production has been falling ever since.

Trade: Exports

Total pig meat exports are forecast at 55 TMT CWE, which is roughly equivalent to 44 TMT of shipped weight product (using a conversion factor of 1.25). Official trade data for the year ending November has consecutive declines in exports for 2003, 2004 and 2005. For the year ending November 2005, exports to Singapore, Australia’s largest market are down 15 percent on the same period for the previous year. Exports to Japan, previously Australia’s second largest export market fell 54 percent. Japan has now slipped to third largest export market for Australian pig meat.

Imports

Total imports of pig meat for 2006 are forecast at 99 TMT, nearly unchanged from the previous year level. This is roughly equivalent to around 79 TMT in shipped weight product. Official trade data for the year-ending November shows consecutive year-on-year increases for 2003, 2004 and 2005. Year-ending November 2005 data shows imports from Canada up 3 percent while imports from Denmark were down 9 percent. Imports from the U.S., which began in CY 2005 reached around 18 TMT shipped weight, or 23 TMT CWE.

Policy

Federal Court Decision on Pork Imports: On November 18, 2005 the Australian High Court refused to grant Australian Pork Limited (APL) special leave to appeal an earlier Full Federal Court decision in favor of the Australian Government relating to the importation of pork into Australia. The High Court's decision brings an end to APL's legal challenge to the granting of permits to import pork into Australia. Further, this in an important win for the Australian Director of Quarantine as it will likely serve as a deterrent to future IRA challenges.

The hearing followed a September 16, 2005 decision in which the Full Bench of the Australian Federal Court upheld the appeal by Australia’s Director of Quarantine against a May 27, 2005 Court judgment affecting the importation of pig meat into Australia. The Court Decision meant that pork from third countries may enter Australia under the existing conditions. Consideration of the additional countries seeking access for pork to Australia (Italy, Sweden and Finland) will continue.

Country of Origin Labeling

Changes to Australia's country of origin food labeling standard became law in December 2005. Among other changes, unpackaged fresh pork and preserved pork will have to be labeled in the same way as unpackaged fish, fruit & vegetables. The new standard will have a phase-in period of 12 months for unpackaged pork products and two years for packaged goods.

Further Information

To read the full report please click here (PDF format)

List of Articles in this series

To view our complete list of 2006 Livestock and Products Semi-Annual reports, please click here

Source: USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service - Annual Livestock and Products Report - February 2006