Lamb exports lift while mutton goes off the boil

March 9 2022 - 4:00am
DEEP DIVING: The US posted a 36pc drop in mutton flows from January to February to see just 761 tonnes reported exported from Australia.

Total lamb exports in February saw 20,774 tonnes exported offshore from Australia for a 22 per cent lift from the beginning of the year.

Meanwhile, mutton exports are facing a challenging time, especially to the US where they took a 36pc dive from January to February with just 761 tonnes exported from Australia

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Papua New Guinea (PNG) seem to be continuing their increased hunger for Aussie lamb in February, lifting to the third top destination in 2022 taking 8.4pc of the market share of total lamb exports.

The Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE) trade figures released last week revealed that PNG had a 21pc increase in lamb imports from Australia taking the February total to 1738 tonnes shipped weight (swt).

This levels that are a robust 68pc higher than the five-year average for February.

Thomas Elder Markets analyst Matt Dalgleish said growth in demand from PNG are on the back off strong flows seen in January.

"The US and China are ahead of PNG in terms of market share of Australian lamb exports and both nations saw a gain in demand over February," Mr Dalgleish said.

"Aussie lamb exports to the US climbed 11pc over February to see 5339 tonnes consigned.

"Despite this lift, lamb exports from Australia to the US are running nearly 8pc below the average trend seen over the last five years."

Lamb exports to China were up by 46pc on the January levels with 3919 tonnes noted for February.

"As was the case with the US, the strong recovery in volumes over February to China wasn't enough to get the monthly trade volumes back above the five-year average for February with levels running 13pc under the seasonal trend," Mr Dalgleish said.

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Current mutton trade volumes are sitting 18pc below the average pattern for February.

"They are pretty much clinging to the bottom of the "normal" fluctuation in monthly flows usually seen at this time in the season," he said.

"The US posted a 36pc drop in mutton flows from January to February to see just 761 tonnes reported exported from Australia.

"These levels are 62pc under the February average pattern over the last five seasons.

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"Thankfully, mutton trade to "other destinations", excluding China and US, took up the US slack with a 15pc lift over the month to see 6573 tonnes shipped."

In terms of actual tonnes exported the volumes to the US dropped by 426 tonnes during February.

Nearly 37pc of the mutton flows for 2022 have gone to China even with a 5pc decline in demand during February from the levels exported over January, to see 4021 tonnes swt go offshore.

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