With or without ewe
Total live sheep export flows continue to climb as we head toward the middle of the year. April 2023 saw 89,475 head of sheep shipped offshore, up nearly 72% from the levels exported in March. Despite the continued grind higher total live sheep flows remain below the five-year average pattern, with April running 23% under the average seasonal trend.
Kuwait remains the key destination for Aussie sheep, taking around 53% of the market share of the trade so far in 2023. Jordan has regained second place in terms of market share after spending 2022 sitting in fourth spot. Jordan accounts for nearly 10% of the flows so far this year, just ahead of the United Arab Emirates on a little over 9% of the trade.
A summary of the top four live sheep destinations is as follows:
- Kuwait has seen monthly flows for March and April sit marginally above the five-year seasonal average at 35,257 head and 45,546 head, respectively. The average monthly volumes to Kuwait so far over 2023 are nearly 5% under trend. This is despite January, March and April coming in above the average seasonal pattern. Zero flows in February to Kuwait has dragged the monthly average below trend so far this season.
- After scant sheep export flows for much of 2022 Jordan has returned to life with above average export volumes recorded in January and April. There were 6,844 head of Aussie sheep shipped in April 2023 to Jordan, after two months without any trade. Compared to the five year average trend April is running nearly 47% above the seasonal pattern, which has helped propel Jordan back into second top spot for live sheep exports from Australia.
- The UAE is one of the few top destinations that have seen flows dip back below the average seasonal pattern in April with 7,000 head reported shipped. This represents a 22% fall in the volumes seen during March and sits around 17% under the five-year average pattern for April.
- Apart from February, where the were no flows, Oman has had a strong start to the 2023 season with all other months to April managing above average flows. April saw 7,000 head shipped, which is nearly 30% above the five-year trend for April. Despite the lull in the trade seen in February average monthly shipments to Oman have been running nearly 58% above the average seasonal pattern so far in 2023.