Against the backdrop of free trade agreements, beef production has been ranked in the nation’s top 10 industries by growth in exports over the five years to 2015-16.

The report by business statistician IBIS World revealed beef production had a five year export growth of 19 per cent – well ahead of fruit and steel production, aircraft manufacturing, and hay production.

The value of exports in 2015-16 is estimated to be $1.615 billion with an 18.6 per cent growth in 2015-16.

In the top 20 industries by export growth, beef production ranked ninth while meat processing ranked 18th, recording a five-year export growth of 13.3 per cent from 2010-11 to 2015-16.

Meat processing ranked as the nation’s biggest exporter on the list with an estimated value of $14.134 billion in 2015-16.

Cattle Council of Australia has worked within the framework of the International Beef Alliance to negotiate for substantial trade liberalisation.

Signed in February, the comprehensive, trade liberalising Trans Pacific Partnership deal addresses new and traditional trade issues in the region, and has been billed as the world’s most significant trade and investment agreement.

Ministers from the Trans-Pacific Partnership met on May 17 in Peru to review the progress of ratification, with economies in the region expressing interest in joining.

Beef is among the Australian commodities of dairy, sugar, rice grains and wine expected to obtain new levels of access on the back of reduced tariffs worth $4.3 billion.

Cattle Council of Australia president Howard Smith said the nation had much to gain from trade reform.

Mr Smith said the TPP, once ratified, would provide more seamless trade rules, reduced costs and less red tape leading to new and substantial market access opportunities.

He said the game changing deal would remove tariff and non-tariff barriers stifling access to the world’s growing appetite for high quality beef products.

“It will provide beef producers, processors and exporters with new opportunities across much of the Asia Pacific region,’’ Mr Smith said.

He said market access and integrity issues have a major influence on the international competitiveness of Australian red meat products.

Mr Smith said volume, quota and tariff barriers by some nations hold back Australian red meat sales, as do technical barriers such as such as product shelf-life restrictions and labelling issues.

ABARES noted in 2010 longer term productivity growth had been achieved through technological progress, developing and applying new systems, and marketplace led consolidation of the industry supply chain.

According to the IBISWorld report, beef industry revenue is forecast to grow at an annualised 3.1 per cent over the five years through to 2015-16, to reach $13.5 billion.

“In particular, strong demand for Australian cattle and beef in export markets is expected to boost the industry over the three years through 2015-16,’’ the report said.

Industry revenue is forecast to grow by 12 per cent in 2015-16, supported by ongoing high saleyard prices.


For further details, contact Caitlin Boucher at or call (02) 6269 5600 or 0405 567 991.