Australian lamb is still high on the menu in the United States, but competition for the red meat is gaining momentum as other export destinations gain pace.
The increased demand is aiding the seasonal strong supply, with export markets continuing to soak up the extra lamb and mutton in August.
In fact, August figures for Aussie lamb exports are the highest on record at 26,196 tonnes shipped (swt).
This is according to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) trade data for August which revealed although the US is the number one destination for Aussie lamb, other export destinations are lifting, pushing the total lamb trade volumes to uncharacteristically strong levels for this time in the year.
Mutton exports were also very strong, driven in part by improving exports to China.
The improving volumes to China are encouraging for continued strong export values, and bodes well for lamb and sheep prices going forward.
For the year to date Aussie lamb exports to the US were running 27 per cent above the average pattern.
For the month of August, exports lifted over 9pc to reach 7070 tonnes swt.
Thomas Elder Markets analyst Matt Dalgleish said while this is still a fraction short of the 7219 tonnes seen in August 2021 it is still 56pc higher than the August average set over the last five years.
"Over the same time period last season, flows to the US were 23pc above the average trend demonstrating that the US continues to be a growth market for Aussie lamb," Mr Dalgleish said.
Meanwhile, lamb exports to China hit their strongest level for the year in August with an 11pc gain on the flows seen in July and 15pc above the August average pattern, according to the last five years of trade data.
While still down on last year, lamb exports to China have gradually gained ground every month, posting an improvement on the five year average for the first time in 2022.
Australian lamb exports to "other destinations", excluding the US and China, also rallied in August.
Monthly volumes gained 24pc to hit 14,144 tonnes swt.
"This level of lamb exports represents volumes that are nearly 30pc above the five-year average for August," Mr Dalgleish said.
"Trade to key destinations like Papua New Guinea showed some solid strength to see monthly levels for August sitting 108pc above the August five-year average."
Historically mutton exports do rise in August and like lamb, mutton exports to China hit their strongest level for the year, up 125pc on July, and 167pc on August last year.
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