Mutton Malays, not malaise

Livestock | 5th March 2024 | By Matt Dalgleish

Mutton Export Summary February 2024

February 2024 was the strongest February on record for total Australian mutton exports with 21,299 tonnes reported shipped over the month. Indeed, February 2024 was the fourth highest month on record for mutton export volumes of any month signifying just how strong demand has begun this year.

Compared to the five year average for February the current season is running 50% higher and has come in nearly 37% better than the volumes set during February 2023.

A summary of the trade flows to the top four mutton destinations is as follows.

China – Is the primary destination for Aussie mutton, taking 34% of the flows so far this year. But other destinations have been stealing market share so far in 2024 with China’s share dropping from 46.5% in 2023. Demand for Aussie mutton from China has been stable and above average since the start of the season with 6,639 tonnes reported shipped in February. This is a 4% gain on the January flows, and nearly 4% higher than February 2023, but a huge 31% increase on the five-year average flows for February to China.

Malaysia – Demand for  Australian mutton from Malaysia has been very strong in 2024 and has pushed Malaysia into second top trade destination for 2024 with a market share of 13.2% in 2024. This places them ahead of the USA on 10% of the total trade so far this year. February 2024 was the strongest month on record for mutton export volumes to Malaysia with 3,339 tonnes reported shipped. This is a huge 27% increase on the previous highest month on record of 2,639 recorded in March 2023. Current mutton flows to Malaysia in February are 71% higher than the five-year average for February and 37% better than the volumes exported from Australia during February 2023.

USA – Saw a slight decrease in the trade of mutton from Australia over February with volumes easing by 8% on the January trade levels. February 2024 saw 1,805 tonnes of Aussie mutton shipped to the USA. Despite this mild decline February volumes remained ahead of trend, sitting nearly 16% above the five-year seasonal average for February and nearly 53% better than the volumes sent during February 2023.

Saudi Arabia – There has been a strong recovery in demand for Aussie mutton from Saudi Arabia over 2024 with the market share of total mutton exports increasing from 5.7% in 2023 to 7.8% so far this year. February saw a solid 52% lift from levels exported in January with 1,796 tonnes reported exported over the month. Compared to the five-year average pattern for February the current volumes are running 101% above the seasonal average for the month.



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