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Middle East Sheep Meat Trade Reflecting Slaughter

07 May 2015
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - Australia’s lamb and mutton exports to the Middle East during April followed a similar pattern to that recorded in the eastern states lamb and sheep slaughter figures – as might be expected, as the largest export market for these products.


Meat and Livestock Australia said that lamb exports were 17 per cent higher than April last year, but 10 per cent lower than March, while mutton exports to the region were 14 per cent lower than last year, and 27 per cent lower than March according to figures from the Department of Agriculture.

While there have been reports that lamb and mutton has been relatively slow moving in a number of export markets, volumes being shipped have maintained strength so far this year – including to the Middle East.

After four months of 2015, lamb exports had reached 21,950 tonnes, and mutton 19,453 tonnes.

The UAE maintained its position as the largest lamb market in the region, while there was also good growth to Jordan and Qatar during April.

Shipments to Bahrain remained low, continuing the trend seen so far throughout 2015, with the high cost of air freighting chilled carcases acting as a brake on this trade.

Mutton exports were constrained by the declining sheep kill, which is likely to become even tighter in coming months.

The mutton trade to the Middle East is dominated by exports to four key markets – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman and Kuwait.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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