- In 2019 Australia and New Zealand sheep meat export volumes accounted for 71% of the global sheep meat trade.
- Australia has eclipsed NZ to become the worlds largest exporter of sheep meat product with 36% of the global trade in 2020, according to FAO estimates.
- The FAO anticipate Australia will continue to dominate world sheep meat export supply for the remainder of the decade, providing good opportunities for Australian sheep meat producers to benefit from a recovering world economy.
Australia and New Zealand dominate the world trade in sheep meat with combined export volumes from these two nations contributing to 65-75% of the global export volumes in recent decades.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimate that in 2019 Australia and New Zealand sheep meat exports was 71% of the total sheep meat export volumes.
Historically, New Zealand was the dominant player in the export of sheep meat. However, since the growth in the prime lamb industry in Australia and the rise in lamb/mutton export markets as a proportion of the Australian sheep meat production between 1990 through to 2010 the gap between the two nations has narrowed.
Indeed, in recent years Australia has eclipsed NZ to become the worlds largest exporter of sheep meat product with 36% of the global trade in 2020, according to FAO estimates, compared to 30% for New Zealand.
The FAO anticipate Australia will continue to dominate world sheep meat export supply for the remainder of the decade.
The UK hold the third spot in sheep meat export market share. However, they account for around 8% of the global export trade and are also a significant importer of sheep meat product.
On any given year the UK can import as much as 75% of what they export, so the reality for global sheep meat supply is that the market is dominated by Australia and New Zealand.
Global sheep meat demand is expected to rise over the coming decades, particularly from the developing world. Sheep meat is a product that is influenced by global economic growth cycles. Therefore, their are good prospects for increased sheep meat demand as economies begin to recover from Covid-19 impacts.
This places the Australian sheep producer in an enviable position globally as our dominant position as the main supplier to the world allows us to benefit directly from the anticipated sheep meat export demand growth.