China et al

Livestock | 7th June 2023 | By Matt Dalgleish

Mutton Export Summary May 2023

Since the start of 2023 the Chinese consumer has demonstrated an insatiable appetite for Aussie mutton. May 2023 saw mutton export volumes lift by 15% to 8,647 tonnes, making this the highest May mutton exports on record for China. Thats the fifth consecutive month this year that the respective monthly record has been broken.

Compared to the five year average trend current monthly Aussie exports of mutton to China are running 147% above the May average levels. Across the entire year, so far, Chinese demand for Aussie mutton has been running 84% above the seasonal average pattern.

Exports to other destinations (ex China and the USA, traditionally the largest markets for mutton exports) are also booming. This is particularly true for Malaysia, that has replaced the USA as second top spot for Aussie mutton this year. Mutton exports to “other” destinations increased 35% over May to hit 10,201 tonnes swt.

Total mutton exports climbed 24% during May to reach 19,590 tonnes swt, which represents flows that are 81% higher than the five-year average volumes seen exported in May.

Since the start of 2023 average monthly mutton exports have been around 17,200 tonnes compared to the 12,700 per month, on average, we have seen over the last five years during the Jan to May period. This represents around 35% higher  demand for mutton this year compared to the five-year trend.


  • Mutton
  • Sheep
  • Exports
  • China
  • Trade