Beef frozen out of global markets

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Skyrocketing shipping price hikes have hit the ‘big five’ global meat exporters as Covid-19 continues to play havoc in global markets.

Brazil, Australia, India, USA and Argentina were facing unprecedented increases according to the Platts Container Index as key global trade routes have increased from US $1,000 (£770) in May 2020 to US $7,500 (£5,770) in September 2021 – for a 40ft container or the equivalent.

Beef exporters face the possibility of foregoing access to certain lucrative global markets due to increased
rates and the inability to secure freight especially for high-value chilled meat products.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission released a report which found freight rates on key global routes are approximately seven times higher than just over a year ago.

Beef exporters claim containers costing AU $2,000 (£1,175) two years ago are costing AU $15,000 (£8,825) today.

Australian food exporters are quoted as ‘struggling’ to meet contractual obligations. Chilled meat products shipped to California now have a turnaround of 70 days instead of 35.



By Bruce Jobson / Farmers Guardian

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