AUSTRALIA - Consistent with elevated eastern states lamb slaughter since the beginning of 2014 and robust global demand, total lamb exports during April were 15 per cent higher year-on-year, at an April record 17,758 tonnes according to analysts at Meat and Livestock Australia.
Australia’s three major markets registered increases on the same period last year, and combined accounted for 63 per cent of total shipments during April.
Of Australia’s three largest lamb export markets, shipments to China, the largest single export destination, increased 32 per cent year-on-year, to 3,098 tonnes, accounting for 17 per cent of total lamb exports.
Despite recording the lowest volumes since the beginning of the year and being pipped by China as the largest single export destination by volume, exports to the US in April also accounted for 17 per cent of Australian lamb exports and were two per cent higher than the corresponding period last year, at 3,097 tonnes.
Buoyed by large volumes to Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, at 1,167 tonnes and 1,476 tonnes, respectively, exports to the Middle East accounted for 28 per cent of total Australian lamb exports.
Shipments to the Middle East registered the highest monthly volume since the beginning of the year, at 5,056 tonnes, up five per cent year-on-year.
Supported by strong demand from the UK, shipments to the EU continued the elevated trend so far in 2014, up 63 per cent, or 453 tonnes year-on-year, at 1,173 tonnes – the second highest April exports on record.
For smaller markets, the largest export growth during April was reported for Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, up 110 per cent, 115 per cent and more than four-fold year-on-year, to 488 tonnes, 386 tonnes, and 689 tonnes, respectively.
Similarly, Japan has returned this year as a significant export market, with shipments up 25 per cent on the corresponding period last year, at 810 tonnes – the second largest export market in Asia after China.
TheMeatSite News Desk