Australia’s lamb trade was strong in July 2017, despite the A$ rising 4% year-on-year, to average 78US¢ for the month. In fact, the volume of lamb that left Australian shores in July 2017 was 28% higher than the same time in 2016, and 10% above the five-year average – at 19,219 tonnes shipped weight (swt).
The latest DAWR data brings the calendar year-to-date total to 142,914 tonnes swt. This means that, seven months into 2017, Australian lamb exports are tracking 1% higher than year-ago levels.
A very dry start to winter across many key supply regions saw higher stock turnoff than the same time in 2016, and hence greater availability of lamb to export. Eastern states lamb slaughter averaged almost 327,000 head per week during July 2017, which is an 11% increase year-on-year.
The standout market for the month was the US, where Australian lamb shipments jumped 57% year-on-year, to 4,679 tonnes swt. The volume increase was spread across a range of cuts – leg, shoulder, carcase, rack, shortloin, to name a few.
Encouragingly, volumes to many of Australia’s other key lamb export destinations also registered growth in July 2017, compared to in 2016:
- China lifted 40%, to 3,657 tonnes swt
- The Middle East lifted 11%, to 4,601 tonnes swt – underpinned largely by increased volumes to Jordan
- Papua New Guinea lifted 2%, to 1,164 tonnes swt
- Korea lifted 43%, to 819 tonnes swt
- Canada lifted 47%, to 776 tonnes swt
To Japan and the EU, however, lamb shipments declined 4% and 13%, to 707 tonnes swt and 449 tonnes swt, respectively.