AUSTRALIAN lamb exports reached their fourth highest monthly total on record during February, totalling 17,562 tonnes swt, representing a 19 per cent increase on February 2012
Meat and Livestock Australia reports that while the historically high monthly volume continues to illustrate the ability of overseas markets to take large volumes of lamb, it was predominantly driven by the ongoing high level of lamb turnoff across Australia.
There were large increases in shipments to Australia’s major markets for February, with the Middle East up 59pc year-on-year, to 4535 tonnes swt, which included 2819 tonnes of chilled carcase.
Exports to Greater China for the month increased 28pc year-on-year, to 3996 tonnes swt, while shipments to the US increased 5pc, to 4034 tonnes swt.
Significant volumes for the month were also shipped to the EU (1004 tonnes swt) and Papua New Guinea (1003 tonnes swt), while there was a 12pc fall in shipments to Japan, to 533 tonnes swt.
Australian mutton exports also continued to expand during February on the back of ongoing high sheep turnoff and mutton production.
Shipments reached 14,105 tonnes swt, 69pc higher than last year and the highest monthly total since March 2009.
Most of the increase in mutton shipments was to established markets, including the Middle East (up 30pc year-on-year, to 4593 tonnes swt), Greater China (up 187pc, to 4587 tonnes swt), South East Asia (up 35pc, to 1523 tonnes swt) and the US (up 136pc, to 1175 tonnes swt).
There was also an increase to Mexico – 399 tonnes swt – the largest monthly total since April 2009.