Mutton exports remain higher than long-term trend
07 July 2015
Australian mutton exports reached 169,492 tonnes swt in 2014/15 – back 7% from the previous year’s record high, which was driven by elevated sheep slaughter. With consequent tighter supplies already evident, reflected in the lower export volume over the past 12 months, it should be noted that the 2014/15 volume was still considerably higher (38%) than the five-year average (122,724 tonnes swt).
The Middle East surpassed China to again become the largest market for Australian mutton in 2014/15. Shipments to the region were up 21% year-on-year and 19% higher than the five-year average, at 52,644 tonnes swt. Even though volumes to China declined 31% on year-ago levels, totalling 41,213 tonnes swt, this is still much greater (80%) than the five-year average. To put it in perspective, Australian mutton exports totalled just 5,827 tonnes swt in 2011.
Demand from South East Asia continued to strengthen during 2014/15, with shipments lifting 6% year-on-year, to 27,174 tonnes swt – up 79% on the five-year average for the region.
The US market also took more (12%) Australian mutton in 2014/15, at 11,752 tonnes swt, while exports to the EU were 17% lower than the previous year, at 4,487 tonnes swt.
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