Highest lamb exports on record in 2014-15

08 July 2015

A strong finish in June saw Australian lamb exports for 2014-15 become the highest on record and gain 7% on the previous financial year, at 241,562 tonnes swt (Department of Agriculture). Despite reduced shipments to China over the past twelve months, volumes to most other major markets increased, with Australian lamb shipments further supported by a falling Australian dollar. 

The Middle East was again Australia’s largest lamb export market, taking 69,374 tonnes swt (up 15% year-on-year), with the major markets in the region the UAE (18,271 tonnes), Jordan (16,238 tonnes swt) and Qatar (12,745 tonnes swt). The US remained the second largest destination for Australian lamb exports, at 48,153 head (up 14% on the previous financial year).

Following unprecedented exports in 2013-14, exports to China slipped 13% last year, to 35,737 tonnes swt, with the trade reportedly slowing due to high cold store inventories.

Shipments to South East Asia remained buoyant, at 13,026 tonnes swt (up 27%), primarily driven by demand from Malaysia (8,633 tonnes). Lamb exports to the EU were 12% lower year-on-year, at 12,323 tonnes, while those to Papua New Guinea increased 18%, to 11,668 tonnes swt.

The most popular product remained whole carcase, with shipments reaching 62,745 tonnes swt and accounting for 26% of lamb exports. Breast and flap ranked second, at 42,953 tonnes, while leg and shoulder rounded out the top four, at 39,194 tonnes and 36,526 tonnes swt, respectively.

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