Aussie lamb eaters are chopping their way to the top

Sheep Central, October 11, 2022

Australians are keeping lamb on their plates.

AUSTRALIANS ate three times the lamb and beef of their overseas counterparts in 2021, according to the latest State of the Industry Report released today.

And although the retail price for lamb has climbed higher in recent years, Australia continues to be one of the largest per capita consumers of sheep meat in the world.

Meat & Livestock Australia managing director Jason Strong said in 2021 per capita lamb consumption increased in Australia for the first time since 2015.

“The per capita consumption of sheep meat was approximately 5.9kg in 2021, while the global average is 1.8kg,” he said.

Australian per capita consumption of beef was approximately 19.2kg in 2021, while the global average is 6.4kg.

Overall, two thirds of Australian consumers have maintained their level of red meat consumption over the past 10 years, while 29 percent of consumers have reduced their intake and 15pc of consumers have increased their red meat consumption.

“Within Australia, consumers continue to demand access to Australian red meat via a range of market avenues and remain committed to enjoying high-quality red meat both at home and through a range of foodservice mediums like restaurants and pubs,” Mr Strong said.

“As global economies continue to recover and supply increases, driven by the herd and flock rebuilds, red meat producers are extremely well-placed to capitalise on this sensational demand and operating conditions.”

Report shows Australia’s red meat sectors are in good shape

MLA said the report showed Australia’s red meat and livestock industry experienced exceptional operating conditions and our red meat is recognised as a high-quality product domestically and all around the globe.

The MLA report gives an overview of Australia’s red meat and livestock industry from the prior calendar year, and includes figures on production, consumption, exports and the economic significance of the industry and key issue snapshots. This edition examines financial year 2020-2021 and calendar year 2021.

Australia’s red meat and livestock industry’s turnover totalled $67.7 billion in FY2020–2021, accounting for about 1.7pc of Australia’s total key industry turnover. Industry turnover is defined as income generated by businesses within the industry from the sales of goods and services.

Mr Strong said the report highlighted the resilience of Australian red meat producers in the face of domestic and global challenges.

“In 2020–2021, Australia’s red meat and livestock industry experienced exceptional operating conditions at the farm gate level. Bolstered by above-average rainfall, we have seen a continuation of the national herd and flock rebuilds.

“The strengthening of these rebuilds has come during the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns, as well as global disruptions,” Mr Strong said.

“These events have altered consumer behaviour and significantly impacted cost of living and the global supply chain.

“Despite the challenges, Australian red meat is in amazing shape. We are the number one exporter for both sheep meat and goat meat, as well as the fourth largest beef exporter globally.”

Minister is pleased with industry performance

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator the Hon Murray Watt noted the report showed Australia’s red meat and livestock industry is in tremendous shape.

“MLA’s report shows the strength of Australia’s red meat and livestock industry.

“It’s no surprise that Australian meat is seen as a high-quality product both domestically and overseas,” he said.

“The last few years have seen a number of challenges thrown at the sector, but the industry is in great shape.

“I’m very pleased to continue working alongside the industry to achieve the best outcomes possible,” Minister Watt said.

Red meat exports fell, but …

Red meat and livestock exports fell 22pc year-on-year to total $14.6 billion in 2020–2021, but this is 11pc higher than 2016–2017 levels. The fall in exports is due to lower livestock supply, a result of the national flock and herd rebuild that occurred in FY2021, MLA said.

China held its position as the largest importer of beef and veal in volume terms in 2021, followed by the United States and Japan. China was also the largest importer of sheep meat in 2021, followed by the United States and the United Kingdom. The largest goat meat importers were the United States, Taiwan and South Korea.

Queensland continued to be the largest exporter of beef and veal in 2020–2021, accounting for approximately 54pc of Australia’s beef and veal export volumes. Victoria is Australia’s largest sheep meat exporter, accounting for about 40pc of total sheep meat exports.

Click here to read the State of the Industry Report 2022.

Source: MLA.


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