Armenia increased its exports of lamb by 50 times in the first quarter of this year.
During the period, Armenia exported 19,000 head of sheep or 50 times more than during the same period in 2012, according to a report from the country's Ministry of Agriculture.
Sheep from Armenia were mainly exported to Iran, which accounts for about 80% of all export supplies. Sheep were also exported in lower volumes to the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Kuwait and Georgia. Growing demand from Iran is leading to forecasts from the Ministry of Agriculture that, this year, Armenia will be able to export a total 150,000 head of sheep, compared to only 61,000 in 2012.
However, strong exports meant that domestic prices for meat rose by 4.1% in the first quarter of 2013, and experts predict that developing exports further may lead to a crisis in the domestic market. According to Ashot Hovhannisyan, chief of the animal health department under the Ministry of Agriculture of Armenia, prices will rise until autumn and are then likely to fall sharply.
It is also noteworthy that, since 2010, Armenia has shown the strongest growth in lamb production among all the countries of the former Soviet Union.
Source: The Ministry of Agriculture of Armenia