Export Lamb

Middle East conflict cuts airfreight options and lamb prices

Sheep Central, April 15, 2024

LIGHT lamb prices dropped by up to $40 a head in Bendigo today as the Iran-Israel conflict interrupted air travel and associated airfreight into the Middle East.

Meat & Livestock Australia’s National Livestock Reporting Service said demand was impact by reports that airfreight to the Middle East has been disrupted by the latest Israel and Iran conflict.

The NLRS said lighter weight and MK (Middle East kill) ‘bag lambs’ at the Bendigo saleyards sold $20-$40/head cheaper, with regular processing orders not operating.

Plainly presented trade lambs under 24kg cwt also sold $15 cheaper. Heavier slaughter lambs, including the big fed exports over 30kg cwt destined for other markets like the United States, held their value better to be $6 to $10/head softer, the NLRS said.

At the Dubbo saleyards, 2 score processing lambs to 18kg were $25 to $35/head cheaper at $46-$100 to average between 470c and 540c/kg, and the lighter trade lambs were $10-$15 cheaper with lambs up to 22kg making $96-$133, or 530-600c/kg.

A Victorian lamb processor said the Middle East conflict has impacted the air and sea freight lamb trade, causing the cancellation of passenger flights into major Middle East markets.

“There have been many flights into the Middle East – in and out of the Middle East – cancelled over the last couple of days as a result of what’s going on over there, that freight was stopped and freight was turned back,” he said.

“It’s early days, too soon to know what the outcome will be – we will wait and see.”

The processor said some ‘bag lambs’ were still leaving the country going to parts of the Middle East, but flights into Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iran and Israel were cancelled or suspended.

“And that obviously has a knock-on effect right back to here.”


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  1. Rakesh Banga, April 18, 2024

    It’s high time that Australia should look beyond traditional markets like the Middle East and USA. Indian subcontinent?

  2. Brendan Mahoney, April 15, 2024

    Keep the live export trade going …… so many people are starving over there.
    MLA should be loading a boat each week destined for refugee centres. The aid Penny Wong sent ($23 million) should be on a boat, not in an electronic transfer.
    I always wondered where the aid came from whether it be war or natural disaster. Australia should be the first phone call as we produce too much food. Maybe MLA needs a big kick in the backside?

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