The potential of the new trade deal with India for Aussie sheep meat producers are yet to be realised, and its likely to be years away before we see concrete benefits flowing through. However, any time trade market opportunities diversify it is something to celebrate, as diversification spreads market risk.
An example of this spread of risk has been seen in mutton export markets over March with alternative destinations offsetting lower US demand. Australian mutton exports to the USA have been lacklustre so far in 2022, possibly because US consumers have been favouring Aussie lamb instead. March 2022 mutton exports from Australia to the USA are sitting 57% under the five-year average for March at just 781 tonnes swt exported.
Meanwhile demand for mutton from China is trekking along reliably, sitting nearly 12% above the five-year average trend for this time in the season with 4,421 tonnes of mutton consigned during March.
Mutton exports from Australia to Malaysia have started the first quarter of 2022 in a robust fashion, March saw a 16% lift from the February volumes to see 2,206 tonnes shipped. Malaysian demand for Aussie mutton exports are currently sitting 53% above the five-year average pattern for March and the strong demand has pushed Malaysia into the second top trade destination for Aussie mutton, knocking the USA into third place. Malaysia holds 15.6% of the total mutton export market share so far in 2022 compared to the USA at 7.7%.