Market Morsel: Meandering mutton
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) red meat export figures for October show mutton exports grew by 6% to see 13,353 tonnes swt consigned overseas, which is the highest monthly tally for mutton exports this year, but it has failed to keep up with the seasonal trend, according to the five year average pattern.
October usually sees about 17,500 tonnes of mutton shipped out of Australia so the current levels are nearly 24% under trend. China, Australia’s largest market for mutton exports, was the main culprit at failing to stay on trend. The flows of mutton to China for October lifted by nearly 11% over the month to see 6,503 tonnes exported, but normally China takes about 8,300 tonnes in October so the Chinese mutton demand is nearly 22% off its usual levels.
One bright spot was mutton demand from the USA, up nearly 72% over the month to run about 35% over the October five-year average levels. However, all other destinations (excluding USA and China) saw demand ease by 13% during October, acting as a bit of a drag on total export volumes.