March quarter sheepmeat export values well above five-year average

12 May 2016

The total value of Australian lamb exports in the first quarter of 2016 (January to March) was $433.8 million FOB – back slightly (2%) on the same time last year, but still 38% above the five-year average for the period (ABS/GTA).

Lamb export volumes during the first quarter were actually 6% higher than last year, indicating the prices exporters have been receiving in early 2016 are not as strong as last year (DAWR). Weaker buying power in the Middle East, linked to low oil prices, and difficulties in moving shoulder and forequarter meat in China and Malaysia were notable obstacles to trade.

During these three months, the A$ traded at an average of 72US¢ – 7¢ lower than the same time last year, and 24¢ below the five-year average.

Considerable increases in the value of shipments to the US, UAE and Jordan were not quite enough to offset the year-on-year declines to most other major destinations during the March quarter:

  • US – $161.8 million, up 15%
  • UAE – $38.2 million, up 14%
  • Jordan – $18.5 million, up 11%
  • China – $32.9 million, down 29%
  • Japan – $18.8 million, down 10%
  • UK - $14.4 million, down 32%

Mutton exports generated $183.7 million for the March quarter – a 13% decline on the corresponding period last year, and 17% higher than the five-year average.

Compared to last year, mutton shipment returns for the January to March period to:

  • US – $25.3 million, up 4%
  • Malaysia – $22.3 million, up 3%
  • China – $18.9 million, down 50%
  • Saudi Arabia – $14.7 million, down 46%
  • UAE – $14.7 million, down 8%

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