Will the real sheep exports please stand up.

Livestock | 14th June 2023 | By Matt Dalgleish

Live Sheep Export Summary - May 2023

It wouldn’t be surprising to see a rush of sheep exports in May as producers race to get sheep turned off before the northern hemisphere summer prohibition begins in June. However, the DAFF data for May 2023 looks to be a little overstated at around 153,000 head of sheep exported.

On closer inspection it seems some of the data has all been duplicated and DAFF were quick to update the correct figures. Total sheep exports from Australia in May came in at 95,820 head once the data was updated. This is a 7% lift from the volumes transported in April but still places current export levels 26% below the five-year average pattern for May. Usually sheep exports peak in the season in May so these very low figures don’t bode well for the rest of the season, once the export prohibition ends in September.

A summary of the top trade destinations for Australian live sheep exports highlights that:

  • Kuwait took 23% fewer sheep in May compared to the flows seen in April. There were 34,988 sheep shipped to Kuwait from Australia in May, which is 39% below the five-year average for May.
  • Jordan was one of two bright spots for sheep export flows in May. There were 18,895 head of sheep reported exported during May 2023 from Australia to Jordan, an increase of 176% from the volumes seen in April. This solid growth in demand pushed the monthly flows to sit 22% below the five-year average pattern for May.
  • Oman also saw some stellar growth in demand over May with 18,446 head reported shipped. This was a gain of 163% from April and represents levels that are a whopping 500% higher than the five-year average pattern for May that sits at just 3,065 head.


  • Live export
  • Live Sheep
  • Sheep
  • Trade
  • Exports