Sheep meet

Livestock | 5th April 2024 | By Matt Dalgleish

Sheep Meat Export Summary March 2024

It has been a very strong start for Australian sheep meat exports (lamb & mutton flows combined) for the first quarter of 2024. There was a total of 145,406 tonnes swt of Aussie sheep meat exported during the quarter.

Indeed, its been the best result on record, smashing the previous Q1 record of 121,590 tonnes set in Q1 2019 by nearly 20%.The Q1 2024 flows are running 25% higher than the export volumes seen during Q1 2023 and are 33% better than the Q1 five-year average flows.

In terms of market share Aussie sheep meat exports, China dominates the total trade flows accounting for 22.2% of the trade in 2024, thus far. The USA sit in second place on 18.0% of the export flows.

Several other prominent Asian/Pacific nations that take Aussie sheep meat have been combined (Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, & PNG) to measure trade into the Asia Pacific region that excludes China and these nations account for 16.5% of the sheep meat flows to date this year. Meanwhile MENA nations (such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Bahrain, and Qatar) account for 14.5% of the trade in 2024.

A summary of the top Australian sheep meat export destinations is as follows.

China – While China is the biggest trading nation when it comes to Aussie sheep meat exports it has had a more lacklustre start to 2024 than other destinations. There was 32,283 tonnes swt of sheep meat reported shipped during Q1 2024 from Australia to China, which represents levels that are 6% softer than Q1 2023. However, on a brighter note the current flows to China are 13% above the Q1 five- year average volumes.

USA – Sheep meat flows to the USA have started the year in great fashion, with Q1 2024 nearly making a new first quarter record. The Q1 2024 exports to the USA fell short of the 2020 highest tally by just 21 tonnes, recording a Q1 2024 export volume of 26,228 tonnes swt. This represents flows that are 45% higher than Q1 2023 and a solid 24% higher than the Q1 five-year average volumes reported.

Others (Ex USA & China) – The Aussie sheep meat trade to other destinations (excluding China & the USA) has began the year very well with a record high Q1 volume recorded in 2024 of 86,895 tonnes swt. Compared to the Q1 five-year average volumes the current trade levels are 46% higher and come in 35% stronger than the volumes seen during Q1 2023. This very strong result reflects the rebound in demand for Aussie sheep meat seen in 2024 across several sectors, besides the USA, including other south east asian and pacific nations and the broader MENA region.




  • Lamb
  • Sheep
  • Trade
  • Exports