Sheep exports stable

11 July 2017

For the 2016-17 fiscal year, sheep exports totalled 1,850,000 head, a decline of 1% year-on-year. For the calendar year-to-June, sheep exports were also back 1%, at 822,500 head, with demand from a number of Middle Eastern countries supporting the stability in sheep exports this year.

The government in Bahrain opted to remove subsidies on imported Australian live sheep early last year, and the live trade has now entirely ceased. However, much of this decline has been absorbed by Qatar.

Sheep exports to Qatar totalled 603,000 head, a lift of 28% compared to the previous financial year. Demand in Qatar is being driven by preparations for the 2022 Soccer World Cup; a significant numbers of expatriate laborers from the sub-continent are working on large construction projects across the country and, hence, growing demand for imported product.

Qatar has also continued to import large volumes of sheep carcases in order to fulfil demand. For the year-to-June sheep carcase exports are unchanged year-on-year, at almost 8,200 tonnes shipped weight.

Fiscal year sheep exports to Oman increased 42% to 120,000 head, having performed strongly for the calendar year-to-June, up 51%, at 66,225 head. Kuwait and the UAE have remained relatively unchanged for the calendar year-to June. Exports to Kuwait fell 2%, to 292,816 head, while sheep exports to the UAE, totalled 55,983 head, up 4% year-on-year.


Goat Exports

For the 2016-2017 fiscal year, goat exports totalled 29,000 head, a 64% drop year-on-year. Exports for the calendar year-to-June were just over 6,000 head, back 80% due to tight supplies and strong demand for goatmeat in the US.

Over-the-hook goat indicators reached a record 682¢ (12-16kg cwt) in June – up 26¢ from the close of May and 119¢/kg cwt year-on-year. The over-the-hook goat indicator also surpassed that of its cattle and sheep counterparts for the first time ever.

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