Mutton exports continue to slide year-on-year

15 October 2015


Australian mutton exports in September reached 12,536 tonnes swt, back 17% from year-ago levels, largely due to tightening sheep supplies. Eastern states sheep slaughter averaged 117,411 head per week in September – back 18% on the corresponding month last year.

Despite consistently lower monthly volumes shipped so far this year, compared to 2014, the September volume remained 19% higher than the five-year average.

The lower mutton shipments in September were primarily underpinned by a fall in volumes to Australia’s largest mutton export markets – the Middle East, South East Asia and China. The US, however, registered considerable year-on-year growth for the month.   

  • Mutton exports to China in September fell 53% from year-ago levels to 1,954 tonnes swt, and were also 23% lower than the five-year average  (2,531 tonnes swt).
  • Shipments to South East Asia were back 11% to 2,152 tonnes swt, attributed to a drop in exports to Malaysia (down 12% to 1,254 tonnes swt) and Singapore (down 16%, to 796 tonnes swt).
  • Volumes to the Middle East slipped 10% on year-ago levels, to 3,690 tonnes swt, underpinned by declines to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, down 29% and 17%, respectively. Interestingly, there was a 60% year-on-year increase in mutton exports to Oman (733 tonnes swt).
  • Exports to the US were 36% higher, at 1,131 tonnes swt, up 43% on the five-year average for the month.

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