Record lamb shipments to the Middle East

Record lamb shipments to the Middle East

Continued strong demand from the Middle East has seen last year’s lamb export record beaten in just 10 months.

In the year to October 2007, 18,180 tonnes swt of Australian lamb were shipped to the region, opposed to 14,536 over the same period in 2006. Total exports of Australian lamb to the Middle East have now more than doubled in the past three years.

The UAE has been the strongest market in the region and now accounts for about two thirds of total exports, 2007 has also seen a surge in exports to Jordan and Kuwait. Most of the lamb exported to the Middle East are lightweight lamb carcases, either fresh by air freight or shipped in frozen form. Leg, forequarter and rack cuts are also popular.

Mutton exports also look set to beat last year’s bumper volumes, the 39,334 tonnes swt exported in the year to October, representing a 19% increase on the same period last year.

While Saudi Arabia remains the world’s largest market for Australian mutton, the growth in the last few years has actually come from other Middle Eastern markets such as the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar. Exports of Australian beef to the region have remained stable in the face of stiff competition.

Growing populations and incomes have spurred the strong demand for Australian meat, helped by increasing prices of competitor proteins and a strong Australian presence in the region. MLA and Australian meat exporters will be involved in the International Travel Catering Services Exhibition in Dubai next month, with the regions largest annual trade show, Gulfood, upcoming in February 2008.
Source: Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA)