LIVE sheep exports from Australia in September have risen 33 percent year-on-year to 140,500 head.
Meat & Livestock Australia said exports to Kuwait in September were just under 49,000 head – up 78pc year-on-year.
Shipments to Qatar totalled 70,000 head, more than double the number of sheep exported in the same period last year.
Exports to Kuwait and Qatar for the calendar year-to-date have accounted for 33pc and 36pc of total trade, respectively, MLA said.
MLA said demand for sheep meat in the Middle East remained strong, the result of increasing disposable incomes, urbanisation, a growing expat population and a developing tourism industry.
Demand in Qatar is also being driven by preparations for the 2022 soccer World Cup; significant numbers of expatriate labourers from the sub-continent are working on large construction projects across the country which has seen growing demand for imported product.
Goats exports drop to 250 for month
MLA said live goat exports were 250 head in September, bringing shipments for the calendar year-to-September to 7,685 head – down 83pc compared with the same period last year.
The decline has been driven by a combination of the sustained increase in Australian prices over the past two years and importers seeking alternative supplies.
While Malaysia remains the largest recipient of Australia goats, Malaysian importers have increasingly looked to goat suppliers in Myanmar and Thailand. Exports to Malaysia for the calendar year-to-date were back 88pc, at 4300 head, MLA said.
With the recent decline in Australian goat prices, there may be more interest from importers, but this will be influenced by the availability from alternative sources, MLA said.