AUSTRALIA - Australian lamb exports to the Middle East jumped 32 per cent on last year during September, to 6,100 tonnes, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.
Mutton shipments were considerably higher up by 168 per cent, on 4,121 tonnes the Department of Agriculture figures show.
Export growth was recorded almost across the board, in terms of major lamb and mutton cuts and destinations, with the lamb trade to Bahrain the only large market to record a lower volume than last year.
Jordan was the largest lamb market in the region, with 1,755 tonnes, followed by the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Whole carcases remain the dominant form of lamb traded (4,012 tonnes, or 66 per cent of lamb exports), with a large proportion of these chilled and airfreighted.
Of the total volume of lamb exported to the Middle East in September, 72 per cent was chilled.
For mutton, Saudi Arabia was the largest market, with 1,526 tonnes, followed by the UAE, Kuwait and Oman. Mutton is generally frozen, in contrast to the chilled lamb trade, and whole carcases (1,921 tonnes) and legs (1,530 tonnes) accounted for 82 per cent of the total September volume.
TheMeatSite News Desk
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