AUSTRALIA - During March, Australian mutton exports reached 15,686 tonnes – down 16 per cent on the corresponding month last year.
However, according to Meat and Livestock Australia, they were 39 per cent above the five-year average for the month of 11,276 tonnes taking figures from the Australian Department of Agriculture.
This brought the 2015 first quarter total to 44,500 tonnes, which was 17 per cent lower than last year – the result of tighter supplies after consistently high sheep slaughter throughout 2014.
MLA said that mutton shipments to the Middle East in March were up eight per cent on the same time last year, at 5,966 tonnes.
Volumes to South East Asia also showed notable growth, up by 23 per cent, year-on-year, reaching 2,978 tonnes for the month – doubling the five-year March average.
Australian mutton exports to China appear to be slowing, with shipments down 51 per cent year-on-year in March, at 2,450 tonnes, taking the first quarter of 2015 total down to 9,957 tonnes – 32 per cent lower than the corresponding period last year.
Volumes to the US also declined in March, compared to a year ago, totalling 1,134 tonnes.
Shipments to Taiwan eased by 15 per cent in March, to 620 tonnes, while, in contrast, volumes to the EU strengthened year-on-year, totalling 592 tonnes, up by 47 per cent.
TheMeatSite News Desk