MarketPULSE June/July

Table of contents

Meat 3


Market developments according to MLA, Finco, Beef Central and APL.


  • The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has announced a La Niña watch which seems to have injected a positive outlook into the cattle market, with many indicators stabilising in May.
  • After years of herd rebuilding there is now an increased supply of cattle on-farm, with the largest herd in 15 years being recorded. Now that Australia’s cattle herd has reached maturity it is indicated that products will start to turn off cattle.
  • Beef exports have continued to grow, with previous months seeing a 46% increase from the same time last year. This is also the largest export volume since 2015 and the second-highest on record. The US remains the largest beef export market, however, large increases have also been seen across South-East Asia and the Middle East regions.


  • Australian lamb slaughter for the first quarter of 2024 has officially been announced by the Australian Bureau of
    Statistics as the highest on record at almost 7 million per head. Lamb exports have risen 41% from this time last year, with April recording the largest export volume on record, which is following strong export numbers in February and March.


  • Pork production has come back in line with normal trends for this time of year moving into winter and product numbers are
    increasing with more stock able to be produced as frozen. After shortages and high pricing recently experienced on bellies, the pricing and availability will see some improvements in the coming months.


  • Weather impacts, cost of grain and staff shortages are continuing to put pressure on the industry. Costs of the whole bird can change with very limited notice, so producers are always considering this when working out costings. This has a flow-on effect for the whole supply chain.
Seafood 1 2


Norwegian salmon

As the industry navigates through 2024, the Norwegian salmon market remains characterised by significantly higher prices compared to the previous year. This price elevation is influenced by several key factors that have shaped the industry’s landscape.
Despite the current high prices, there is cautious optimism, anticipating a seasonal adjustment. The forthcoming Norwegian summer is expected to bring an increase in harvest volumes, which should ease pricing pressures. This seasonal boost in supply is crucial for market stability and strategic planning for significant orders.



The supply of Taiwanese barramundi has been significantly impacted by a variety of ongoing issues. In 2023, heavy mortality rates severely reduced stock levels and slow growth rates this year have further constrained supply.
Additionally, recent damage to processing facilities from a Taiwanese earthquake has compounded these challenges.
Consequently, barramundi prices from Taiwan have remained at elevated levels, adding strain to the market.

As a result of this, feasible alternative supply is being looked at by other countries to help mitigate these supply issues and stabilise prices. This adjustment intends to achieve stable supply, price stability and quality assurance. By proactively addressing the supply chain challenges, high quality barramundi can still be sourced while continuing to manage costs effectively.

Queensland (wild caught)

The current season has produced solid numbers after what was a slow weather-affected delay. Quality has been exceptionally high with the majority of barramundi being small to medium size, around the 4 – 6kg mark, and with a healthy fat content. The Gulf supply has picked up some of the market needs from the East Coast, filling gaps from current closures. Along with the fresh barramundi, movement through the lines in the southern markets is good due to accessible prices and consistent supply. Final unloads of winter fish are being looked at before some of the fleet breaks for mid-year duties and a well-deserved break. With the fresh supply looking good so far, and the frozen filling freezers already, continuity of supply at the end of the year should be very achievable.


The Spanish mackerel season is not yet in full swing but with frozen fillets in store, supply has not been an issue. The market is looking forward to a new season, however, there is still some time away from seeing unloads at the port.



While current prices are stable, there is potential for slight increases due to rising demand from US buyers who are experiencing low inventory levels. Suppliers have indicated that this increased demand might push prices up slightly, although the overall
trend suggests continued stability in the near term.

Some suppliers have indicated that farm gate prices for vannamei prawns have risen slightly. However, this increase at the farm level has not translated into higher export selling prices. This discrepancy suggests that market forces are absorbing the increased costs without passing them on to consumers.

The current stable pricing environment, coupled with proactive management, positions the industry to navigate any market fluctuations and meet supply needs efficiently.

Queensland banana (Gulf of Carpentaria)

Overall catches are down on last year, which has resulted in the season finishing earlier than anticipated. Consequently, prices have increased on local banana prawns.

Queensland eastern king

Catches have been good and pricing is expected to remain steady, with a solid supply of larger sizes over the next few months.

Western Australia Exmouth tiger and king

The Exmouth season started on 1 May with the first boats starting to unload. Catches have been slightly higher than last year, catching mostly tiger and endeavour prawns. Vessels are currently only cooking 20% of the catch. The export market is very strong with fishermen staying in the tiger prawn grounds for another month before moving to catch king prawns.



The lobster season in Brazil started on 1 May with new rules that limit tails to 30% of any fishermen’s landing. For the first time, a live catch industry quota of 6100mt has been applied in case of any sudden over-fishing. This is expected to be refined over the coming years as the fishery works to fully understand the total catch efforts of both commercial and domestic activity. With lower tail production available for the US and increased whole frozen demand in Asia, prices are expected to appreciate 10 – 20% over the coming months. Australian domestic markets have been major consumers of Brazilian tails and whole cooked over recent years. Importers are closely monitoring the possible re-entry of Australian live lobster’s in to China and the potential increase in Brazilian opportunities.


The season in Florida is not due to re-open until 6 August, however, the stock is largely expected to be directed to China. In 2023 there were no Florida lobster imports to Australia for the first time in many years.


Low inventories of frozen products in the US have pushed meat and tail prices through the roof. With the spring season having opened in early May with good catches, lower meat and tail prices are soon expected to flow. China continues to break records with increased live shipments from Canada, which is the biggest impediment to the availability of raw material for frozen options.

Western Australia rock

The next 12-month quota season commences as of 1 July, with many fishermen struggling to complete their previous quotas, largely due to holding back in anticipation of higher beach pricing from re-entry to China (which as yet has not happened). Whole raw production for China for B through to E sizes is ongoing and is providing a great minimum base for live pricing, whilst cooked inventory for B and C sizes is scarcely available. Some quantities of cooked A sizes from February/
March production remain on hand. All eyes are on Chinese decision-makers and domestic political positions which will have a profound effect on future pricing and availability of local lobster products.

Seafood 2 2



The first survey has just started with catches relatively small and sporadic until the main season begins and larger-sized scallops can be found. The main season is to start in July and run through until the end of December, but a confirmed date has not yet been announced. There is a very positive outlook for the main season in terms of catches with more information on sizing to be known by mid-June.


The market for frozen-at-sea Ocean Choice Canadian scallops continues to experience a notable price rise,
reflecting a trend observed across the broader US and
Canadian scallop industry. This escalation in cost presents a challenge in a market where
customers are increasingly seeking value options.

Despite their premium quality, the high-priced Canadian scallops are becoming less attractive to cost-conscious consumers. The upward trajectory in pricing is supported by the US scallop pricing graph from Undercurrent News, which can serve as a useful guide for understanding current market conditions.


Production is still very reduced and the market is now offering only roe-on in the shell at reduced price levels. Production has somewhat increased after a massive die-off was caused by warmer water temperatures early last year. However, scallops are now being removed before reaching any decent sizes above 40/60 per kilo to enable some revenue from sales.


Scallop prices have sharply increased after the Chinese government banned all Japanese seafood imports. As stocks of raw materials which were sitting in China have now diminished, this is causing a problem with the bay scallop business in Australia and New Zealand due to the struggle to fill containers with this product. As a result, loading the Chinese bay scallop meat with squid containers has commenced.


Japan common

The Chinese fishing moratorium in the Bohai and Yellow Sea ended in the middle of August of last year and the landings have been sporadic. There are still issues in the North Korean zone where a large aggregation of this species has been prevalent in the past few years due to climate change. Prices are very high similar to last year’s New Zealand squid levels.

Argentine illex

The latest illex catch has been very good but only within the Argentine economic zone, where foreign fishing vessels are restricted from fishing unless they have some joint venture arrangement. Prices have started decreasing to levels slightly below the New Zealand squid.

New Zealand arrow

The season is drawing to a close and prices have been exorbitant with whole squid selling at record highs. The larger grades of squid have been almost non-existent with prices 40%+ up on their 2023 costs.


Due to significant price rises for all of the raw materials, the prices of finished products have now been increased for the Australian and world markets alongside to a shortage of raw materials and a symptom of supply and demand. At present, the catches of the large grades have again slowed down in Peru which is making it hard for processors. In addition to this, the left-over effects from el niño are still causing adverse water temperatures off the coast of Peru, causing the squid to remain in deeper water or move further out beyond the reach of Peruvian jigging vessels.

For Chinese vessels fishing outside the Peruvian economic zone, the season experienced three weeks of almost no catch, and fishing in international waters between Peru and the Easter Islands has been a disaster with catches between 30% of last year’s levels and about 300 vessels having left the groups until next season. The upward movement in prices of raw materials has impacted the finished gigas squid products. This problem will carry over until early next year for the season between January and April. 

Wheat 2


Market developments according to Mauri ANZ.


  • Parts of New South Wales received good rainfall over May adding to their moisture Parts of Victoria saw one day of rain but the western areas barely recorded anything along with Western Australia and South Australia remaining extremely dry with no significant rainfall on the forecast. Western Australia is becoming a major concern. Patchy rainfall has been met with unseasonably high temperatures.
  • USDA forecast of 29mmt for next harvest feels high at this point and production increases in New South Wales will be offset by declines in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria (vs 26mmt LY).


  • The global market reacted bullishly to the wheat report, which more or less confirmed what was market anticipated – that major exporter production this season will not be better than last and that global stocks will continue to be tight.
  • Indian wheat production was pegged at 114mmt when the government was at 110mmt and the trade is 105mmt. Overall global production year-on-year is unchanged vs current USDA at an increase of 10.5mmt.
  • The Funds, which had been buying back their near- record wheat short continued recently and markets have all moved higher.
  • Weather will continue to drive price action. Developing dryness in Argentina is adding to other weather concerns across Russia and Europe.
Dairy 3


Market developments according to Anchor Food Professionals Global Dairy Intelligence Group.

Dairy exports


Australian dairy exports decreased 4.2%, or 2,112 MT, in January compared to the same period the year prior. The decrease in exports was mainly due to lower export volumes of fluid milk products and SMP, partially offset by higher export volumes of cheese. Exports for the 12 months to January were down 19.7%, or 156,071 MT, on the previous comparable period. This was mainly due to the disconnect between Australia’s domestic milk price and global commodity price, making Australian exports less competitive.

New Zealand

Total New Zealand dairy exports increased 31.7%, or 83,141 MT, in February compared to the same period the year prior. The increase was mainly due to significant shipping disruptions from Cyclone Gabrielle last year. Exports for the 12 months to February were up 7.6%, or 255,868 MT, on the previous comparable period. This was mainly due to higher export volumes of WMP and SMP to China as demand recovered.

United States

US dairy exports decreased 2.9%, or 6,232 MT, in January compared to the same period the year prior. The decrease was mainly due to lower export volumes of non-fat dry milk to Mexico. Exports for the 12 months to January were down 7.8%, or 226,955 MT, on the previous comparable period. This was mainly due to lower export volumes of cheese and WPC to Southeast Asia and China.

European Union

EU dairy exports decreased 5.5%, or 27,744 MT, in January compared to the same period the year prior. The decrease was mainly due to lower export volumes of SMP to China. This was partially offset by higher export volumes of fluid milk and cream to China, South Korea and the Philippines, and cheese to the US and Saudi Arabia. Exports for the 12 months to January were down 0.3%, or 20,151 MT, on the previous comparable period. This was due to lower export volume to China, alongside shifts in processing decisions towards other dairy streams amidst changing market demands.

Milk Production


Australian milk production increased 5.2% in January compared to the same period the year prior. The production increase was due to favourable weather conditions, with mild temperatures reducing heat stress impact. Australian milk production for the 12 months to January was up 1.0% on the previous comparable period.

New Zealand

New Zealand milk production was up 5.6% on a litres basis (up 6.5% on a milk solids basis) in February compared to the same period the year prior. The increase was due to the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle in the same period last year and the South Island’s continued strong milk flows this season. New Zealand milk production for the 12 months to February was up 0.9% on the previous comparable period.

United States

US milk production increased 2.2% in February compared to the same period the year prior. USDA states the production increase was due to 2024 being a leap year. Adjusting for the leap year, production is down 1.1% compared to the same period the year prior. This resulted in an eighth month of consecutive decline in production year-on-year due to smaller herd numbers and continued lower milk yield. Milk production for the 12 months to February was down 0.2% on the previous comparable period. This is mainly due to smaller herd numbers and continued lower milk yield.

European Union

EU milk production decreased 0.7% in January compared to the same period the year prior. Production decreased in Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands, partially offset by an increase in Poland. EU milk production for the 12 months to January was down 0.2% on the previous comparable period. Production decreased in France, Ireland and Italy, partially offset by increases  in Germany and Poland.

Back Cover 2
All information provided is correct at time of publication and is subject to change due to unpredictable circumstances. Adverse weather conditions, currency fluctuations and other market influences which are difficult to predict accurately, that can impact pricing and supply. E&O.E