5 Sep 2022
A slew of negative economic data from China is weighing on international agri prices, especially on the prices of products of which China is the main buyer. However, beef exports appear to shrug off those concerns, with demand surging as it enters the strongest buying season of the year.
Data reported on retail sales, industrial production, and the festering problems in the property sector have all promoted the Bank of China to reduce interest rates in a bid to reflate the economy.
The impact of lower demand from China has caused prices to sag. Examples are milk powder down 28% since March; soyabeans now well below the highs seen in June; the wool price in Australia declined to $9.31 per kilo, the lowest since January 2021.
The exception to these overall weaker price trends is beef. Demand and prices remain firm and China continues buying significant volumes of the product. The main beef exporting country to China is Brazil, followed by Argentina and the US. Exports from the two South American nations have increased due to depreciating local currencies and this has limited domestic supply and pushed up prices internally.
Seasonally, Chinese purchases of beef remain strong usually until mid-November so that there is ample availability of the product in time for the Lunar New Year in February.