Australian lamb exports hit 200,590 tonnes (t) swt in 2012-13, with value up 4% year-on-year to AU$1.13bn. Chilled exports were up 34%, suggesting that emerging markets are taking higher-value products.
Strong demand for Australian lamb in China drove a 38% year-on-year increase in export volumes to the region. Export value was up 24% to AU$147.5m, meaning China now accounts for 13% of Australia’s total lamb export value.
The Middle East also saw bullish demand, with a 37% year-on-year increase in export volumes to 58,662t swt. Export values to the Middle East reached $308.1m, with the region overtaking the US in its share of total Australian lamb exports, now at 27%. The export increase was driven by demand from Bahrain, which imported 9,713t swt of Australian chilled lamb in 2012-13, up from 229t swt in 2011-12.
Australian lamb exports to the US were up 7% in volume terms to 37,479t swt, but value remained static at AU$303.5m.
Mutton exports reached 144,105t swt, worth AU$512.6m, in 2012-13 – a 28% increase on 2011-12. China was the biggest driver behind this increase, with mutton exports to China increasing by five-fold to 35,867t swt and export values to the region up 166% year-on-year to AU$92.4m.
Mutton export volumes to the Middle East also saw 16% year-on-year growth, although volumes to the region were down 1% to AU$170.3m.