Australia sheep meat exports to the EU declined slightly in 2015, with allocated quota usage at 98 percent or 18,706 tonnes cwt. Shipments mostly compromised of legs and shanks, MLA said.
“Australia is the only country to fill its EU quota in 2013, 2014 and 98pc in 2015, yet its access remains limited to only 19,176 tonnes or 6.7pc of the overall quota.”
EU sheep meat imports under the country-specific quotas increased 8% year-on-year in 2015, to 199,362 tonnes, mostly driven by the higher shipments from New Zealand, which offset the low quota utilisation by Argentina, Uruguay and Chile.
MLA said New Zealand’s quota utilisation rose 12.5pc to 174,540 tonnes, assisted by lower shipments to China and offset by higher imports from Germany and the Netherlands.
Argentina, Uruguay and Chile account for a combined 12.5pc or 36,000 tonnes of the total EU sheep meat quota. The three countries have consistently fallen short, shipping only 13.4pc or 4822 tonnes of their combined allocated quota in 2015.
MLS said the EU sheep meat quota utilisation is forecast to decline slightly in 2016, due to the forecast lower New Zealand and Australian production, and an expected increase in UK sheep meat production.