Meat & Livestock Australia said Department of Agriculture and Water Resources figures show mutton exports in March fell 3 percent on the corresponding month last year to 15,144 tonnes.
For the March quarter (January to March), mutton shipments have totalled 42,077 tonnes – a decrease of 5pc on year-ago volumes. Exports to the United States increased 6pc year-on-year to 4108 tonnes and shipments to the United Arab Emirates increased 10pc to 3496 tonnes. In contrast, China shipments fell 41pc to 5845 tonnes and exports to Saudi Arabia declined 43pc to 3540 tonnes.
In March, compared to last year, mutton shipments decreased 5pc to 2325 tonnes into China and by 50pc to 1189 tonnes into Saudi Arabia. Exports increased by 2pc to 2091 tonnes into Malaysia, by 1pc to 1147 into the US and by 12pc to 1433 into the UAE.
Mutton exports are expected to continue declining in 2016 — the result of lower production – following three years of historically high sheep slaughter, MLA said.
Sources: MLA, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.