April 11, 2013
China was the largest single export destination for Australian lamb in March, with volumes exceeding those sent to the US for the first time on record. Overall, Australia exported 6112 tonnes swt of sheepmeat to China for March, up 109 per cent year-on-year. Meat and Livestock Australia reports the big March result contributed to the total volume of the first quarter of 2013 reaching 19,973 tonnes swt – 140pc higher than the same period last year. Lamb exports to China during March increased 13pc year-on-year, to 2711 tonnes swt. This monthly volume had China exceeding the US for the first time on record and placed China as the largest single export destination for Australian lamb in March. Monthly mutton shipments surpassed 3000 tonnes swt for the third consecutive month, with the March volume alone increasing 554pc year-on-year, to 3401 tonnes swt. Australian mutton exports for the first quarter of 2013 have already accounted for more than two-thirds of last year’s total, at 11,156 tonnes swt. In terms of the cuts shipped to China in March, breast & flap remained the most popular cut, at 3006 tonnes swt. Lamb manufacturing exports during March were down 10pc year-on-year, to 492 tonnes swt. However, a 723pc year-on-year rise in lamb shoulder exports (to 288 tonnes swt from 35 tonnes swt in March 2012) assisted monthly export volumes. Mutton carcase exports during March also remained strong, at 1242 tonnes swt – up from just 17 tonnes swt in March last year.