Australian boxed beef exports to Vietnam are starting to ramp up, following the elimination of 5% tariffs on all beef product lines under the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZ-FTA) which commenced in January this year, according to industry marketing and research body Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA). The body added that Australian boxed beef exports to Vietnam jumped 112% to a record 8,500 tonnes swt (shipping weight) in the year-to-October 2018. Live cattle exports grew 15% year-on-year to 160,588 head in the same period.
MLA also revealed that the Vietnamese consumers’ strong preference for hot, fresh meat continues to support live cattle export growth, while increasing consumer demand for quality, safe food products creates opportunities for Australia to explore the higher-end segments for both boxed beef and higher quality beef produced locally from Australian cattle exports.
Beef has a special place in the Vietnamese cuisine and is an essential part in the nation’s diet, said MLA. Believed to have abundant nutritional values, beef — unlike pork, chicken or fish — is typically eaten for health benefits rather than for daily consumption. What’s more, Vietnamese consumers are becoming more discerning and the recent increase in number of food incidents, such as ‘fake beef’ (pork or buffalo meat claimed as beef), has resulted in consumers being more conscious of the food they consume.
MLA said these are driving increased consumer demand for good quality beef products with proven safety credentials, especially in urban cities where consumers have higher levels of purchasing power and greater access to modern shopping channels.
The strong desire for trusted food products thus represent great opportunities for Australia to grow in Vietnam by capitalising on its competitive advantages and the positive attitude of local consumers towards Australian beef.