Export Lamb

Victoria claims title as leading food and fibre-producing state

Sheep Central November 9, 2016

vic-food-and-fibre-report-nov-2016VALUABLE wool, sheep meat and skin exports have helped maintain Victoria as the leading food and fibre exporting state in Australia.

The 2015-16 Food and Fibre Export Performance Report released today said Victoria takes up only 3 percent of the country’s land mass, but accounted for 26pc of Australia’s food and fibre exports valued at $11.9 billion in 2015-16.

The report said Victoria accounts for more than 40pc of Australia’s total lamb production and is one of the world’s largest sheep meat exporters. Victorian meat exports were valued at over $2.7 billion in 2015-16, down $337 million from 2014-15.

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) data showed that in Victoria over 24pc of lamb processed in the last three years is for the whole carcase market (bagged) and is destined mainly for Middle Eastern markets. The only other state trading in this market at significant levels is Western Australia, comprising 19pc of lambs slaughtered.

Victoria producing about 20pc of Australia’s wool

Victoria’s animal fibre volumes were down in 2015-16, but exports were valued at $1.65 billion in 2015-16, up 1pc on the previous year, the report said.

Victoria is Australia’s second largest wool producing state and produced 66.8 million kilograms of greasy wool in 2015-16 or about 20.5 per cent of Australia’s total shorn wool production. Its three largest markets are China, India and Italy and the value of exports to these markets all increased in 2015-16. However, the state’s wool production has declined since the 1990’s from 190,600 tonnes to around 66,800 tonnes on average over the last 6 years. In the last 20 years, Victoria’s flock has fallen from 23.4 million head in 1993-94 to 14.57 million head in 2015-16.

Victoria’s sheep farm numbers have halved from around 22,000 in the mid-1980s, the report said. Over the same period there has been a gradual shift from wool to prime lamb production which is influencing the Victorian wool production characteristics. The proportion of wool producers of greater than 27 micron is increasing with a shift to crossbred production systems.

Skins and hides exports from Victoria were valued at $510 million in 2015-16, a decrease of $38 million (down 7 per cent) from 2014-15. Victoria accounted for 44 per cent of Australia’s skins and hides exports. Sheepskins made up 52 per cent of Victorian skins and hides exports. China remained the largest value market for Victorian skins and hides exports, valued at $402 million, followed by Austria ($25 million) and the Slovak Republic ($18 million).

Food and fibre is key to growth and jobs

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford said the resilience and ingenuity of Victoria’s primary producers continues to place it as the top food and fibre exporting state in the nation.

“The Andrews Labor Government is giving our producers the tools and support they need to capitalise on the global stage, while managing an unpredictable climate and volatile market.”

The Andrews Labor Government has identified food and fibre as one of six key industry sectors set to underpin Victoria’s future economic growth and jobs.

Victorian produce continues to be in high demand across the globe, with increasing demand from Asia, with our reputation for producing high quality, clean and healthy food giving the state a competitive edge.

More than 80pc of Australia’s dairy exports, 48pc of horticultural exports and 39pc of prepared food exports come from Victoria.

The full report is available at www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/exports.

Source: Department of Premier and Cabinet Victoria.


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