Market Morsel: Easing into the moratorium
June signals the beginning of the northern hemisphere summer moratorium period where Australian live sheep exports by ship are halted, but live sheep export numbers for May have already started to decline. May 2022 saw total shipments decline by 30% from the seasonal peak seen in April to register 54,719 head of sheep exported. This level represents volumes that are 63% under the five-year average for May.
So far during 2022 shipments to Kuwait have accounted for 65% of the trade and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have managed second place for top trade destinations, holding 12% of the trade. Oman sits in third place with 7% of total sheep export volumes from Australia.
Sheep exports to Kuwait were relatively stable from April to May, declining just 4% over the month to 41,846 head. Shipments to Kuwait over May are running at levels that are 26% below the five-year average for May. Shipments to the UAE gained 96% over May to register 11,778 head exported. Although the April volumes were rather low at just 6,000 head so the percentage gain seen during May could be a little overstated, given the low base seen in April. Flows to the UAE sit just 8% under the five-year trend for May.