Lamb and mutton consignments have continued to soften toward levels consistent with their normal seasonal troughs that occur during winter.
Total lamb exports from Australia have dipped below 20,000 tonnes swt for the first time this season (Figure 1).
Most destinations for lamb trade in July were running below their respective five-year patterns, except for Asia that is, which is still enjoying the boost provided by above average flows to China.
Lamb volumes to the USA were 15 per cent under the July average, the Middle East was 22pc below and Europe 32pc softer.
In contrast, Asian demand was 28pc above the five-year average trend after being given a healthy push by China, which reported consignments up 62pc on the seasonal July average.
Total mutton export flows dipped under 10,000 tonnes swt for the first time this season to make its first appearance below the five-year average trend during July (Figure 2).
Mirroring the lamb scenario, the Middle East is reporting July mutton flows that are 51pc under the average and European consignments are 94pc softer.
Meanwhile, mutton shipped to Asia was 29pc over the five-year trend for July with solid demand out of China leading the charge.
What does this mean?
Apparently, the high domestic price of lamb and mutton during this winter and the tighter availability has made an impact on trade flows.
Nevertheless, the spring flush and lower prices are just around the corner so we should see volumes increase in the coming months.
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