AUSTRALIA - Australian lamb exports hit new highs in 2014, surpassing the previous year’s record by 23,193 tonnes (11 per cent), at 236,908 tonnes according to Meat and Livestock Australia.
Shipments in December were two per cent higher than the corresponding period last year, reaching 20,611 tonnes, with the Middle East remaining the largest market, at 5,802 tonnes, followed by the US (3,465 tonnes), China (2,242 tonnes) and the EU (1,881 tonnes).
The majority of export markets for Australian lamb registered considerable growth over the past 12 months, absorbing high domestic supplies, as feed and water deficits were recorded across many key livestock producing regions throughout the year, the MLA analysts said.
Lamb shipments to the Middle East in 2014 were 7 per cent higher than the previous year, totalling 64,249 tonnes, while volumes to the US for the year surged to 46,224 tonnes – 18 per cent higher than the 2013 total.
Demand from China was not as strong as the year prior, with the 2014 total back slightly (2 per cent), to 38,842 tonnes.
Lamb exports to the EU increased 20 per cent, to 14,042 tonnes, while volumes to South East Asia (13,019 tonnes) and Japan (10,127 tonnes) lifted 20 per cent and 32 per cent year-on-year, respectively.
Papua New Guinea finished the year on a stronger note, although the overall total for 2014 was 28 per cent lower than the year before, totalling 9,033 tonnes.
Shipments to Canada were up 11 per cent, at 6,191 tonnes, and volumes to Korea reached 4,837 tonnes in 2014 – 52 per cent higher year-on-year.
It is likely that Australian lamb exports in 2015 will come back from the highs seen in 2014, as domestic supplies begin to tighten, although global demand is expected to remain strong.
TheMeatSite News Desk