Red meat exports through the Port of Melbourne achieved a record monthly high in October, with almost 5,000 shipping containers exiting the port.
Packaged beef made up more than 41 per cent of total red meat exports, followed by packaged lamb and mutton, carcasses, and sides.
The meat export sector has experienced significant growth in the past year, with October 2023 exports up 23 per cent from the previous year.
This year, 42,329 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) of meat have been shipped out through the Port of Melbourne. This upward trend is mirrored across the country as Australian red meat exports in October 2023 hit a four-year monthly high.
In Victoria, the previous peak in red meat exports was observed just before COVID-19 hit, in November 2019, with 4,826 TEU.
During the height of the pandemic, red meat export volumes plummeted to 2,554 TEU in January 2021.
The new peak recorded in October 2023 signals a robust recovery in the post-COVID landscape according to the Port of Melbourne.
“Red meat continues to be a key driver in export volumes, representing the Port’s fifth-largest container export commodity group,” said Port of Melbourne CEO Saul Cannon.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Victoria is Australia’s leading producer of lamb (50 per cent) and mutton (39 per cent) and third-largest producer of beef and veal (19 per cent).
With the Port of Melbourne generating more than $11 billion in revenue for the Australian economy and contributing in excess of $5.6 billion to national GDP, the significant growth in red meat exports presents opportunities to stimulate flow-on effects across the country.