AUSTRALIAN lamb and mutton exports for January were the highest on record, helped by strong demand in North America, China and the Middle East, according to Meat & Livestock Australia.
MLA global supply analyst Tim Jackson said the United States of America was the largest market for beef, lamb, goat and red meat overall, while China was the largest market for mutton.
Mr Jackson said lamb exports rose 38 percent year-on-year to 25,174 tonnes last month, the largest January export volume on record.
“Following record high production in 2023, exports are continuing to rise, especially as weekly slaughter numbers maintain a strong pace.
“Most of the lift in volume has come from an increase in chilled exports, a reversal of the trend in 2023, when frozen export volumes tended to lift more,” he said.
“Exports of frozen lamb have lifted by 20pc year-on-year to 14,008 tonnes, while exports of chilled lamb have risen by 71pc from last year to 11,166 tonnes and made up 44pc of exports over the month, compared to 36pc in January 2023.”
Mr Jackson said mutton exports rose by 25pc year-on-year to 16,912 tonnes.
“China remained the largest market, with exports rising 12pc year-on-year to 6671 tonnes, but the bulk of the increase came from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where exports lifted 56pc year-on-year to 3569 tonnes.”
Mr Jackson said Saudi Arabia remained the largest mutton market in the region, with exports rising 44pc year-on-year to 1181 tonnes. Volumes into Mauritius doubled, quadrupled into Qatar and increased five-fold into Kuwait.
“The MENA region remains a key opportunity for Australian red meat exports, as detailed in the recently released global market snapshots.”
Source – MLA.