A heap of Desmonds for lamb exports

Livestock | 2nd May 2023 | By Matt Dalgleish

Market Morsel

Total Australian lamb exports for April came in at 22,222 tonnes swt, that’s a lot of Desmonds! (Think Tutu). This represents a 12% drop from March, but as the average seasonal pattern demonstrates all the holiday breaks in April often impact upon export flows with volumes coming under pressure.

The April 2023 lamb export levels are nearly 5% under the five-year average for April and most of the season has seen the export trend mostly mirroring the average pattern pretty closely.

A summary of our top trade destinations shows the following:

  • USA – demand for Aussie lamb continued to head south, declining nearly 21% over April to 3,835 tonnes swt. Consumer sentiment in the USA remains in the doldrums as people fear a looming recession and reduced job security. Aussie lamb is mainly consumed in the food service sector in the USA, so lower numbers going out to eat at a fancy restaurant translates to weaker demand for export lamb. The current US lamb export demand from Australia sits 27% under the five-year average for April.
  • ┬áChina – saw lamb export volumes gain nearly 6% over April to see 5,137 tonnes shipped. This represents levels that are just 3% under the seasonal average trend for April.
  • Trade to all other destinations (excluding China & the USA) remained 5% above the April average at 13,251 tonnes swt, despite a 14% decline in volumes from the levels seen exported in March 2023.


  • Lamb
  • Exports
  • Trade