AUSTRALIA’S lamb exports have slumped 11 percent in the year to October this year compared to the same period in 2014.
This is despite shipments in October being 14pc above September levels, Meat and Livestock Australia has reported.
October lamb exports lifted to 21,621 tonnes, driven by a 7pc rise in the eastern states weekly lamb slaughter, MLA said.
But the increase in slaughter and exports is typical for this time of year, particularly as increased numbers of lambs are turned off throughout the south-east, and generally at heavier weights than earlier in the season.
However, lamb slaughter and exports have not been as high as 2014, especially when considering last year was a record year in both measures, MLA said. October lamb exports were back 11pc year-on-year, and the year-to-date volume, at just over 193,000 tonnes, is 2pc below year-ago levels.
MLA said the year-to-October decline has largely been driven by reduced shipments to China, back 23pc year-on-year, to almost 26,000 tonnes. This has partially been offset by a 9pc increase in exports to the Middle East, to almost 58,000 tonnes, and a modest lift in shipments to the US, to nearly 40,000 tonnes.
MLA said looking out to the rest of 2015, November and December lamb exports typically decline slightly from their peak in October.
“However, given many prime lamb producing regions have had a dry spring, producers may opt to offload greater numbers this side of summer, in which case exports would remain steady or continue to increase.”
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