Australia's live sheep trade remains lacklustre

Published Apr 5, 2023

Tridge summary

The possible banning of the live sheep export trade, an election promise from the current government, has been making plenty of political headlines. But from an industry point of view, it’s been a while since we looked at how live export numbers are faring on the back of that announcement last year. The trade got off to a cracking start in 2023, with 100,000 head shipped out in January. The trade hasn’t kept up the pace, however, with less than 500 head leaving in February.

Original content

Live sheep export numbers were down 13% year-on-year for 2022, with slightly more than 502,000 head leaving Australia. It wasn’t a significant drop off from 2021, but historically it set a new low since at least 2008, and it was 40% below the five-year average annual total. Meat and Livestock Australia’s most recent industry projections have live sheep export numbers dropping to 500,000 this year, before lifting marginally each year out to 580,000 in 2025, which would be 16% above 2022 levels. This is a significant walk back from the 650,000 head figure from the previous MLA projections figure for 2023 live sheep export numbers.Kuwait remained the largest market for live export sheep in 2022, at 36%, but that was down from the 60% of the market share it made up in 2021. Total live sheep exports to Kuwait for the 12 months ending February were down about 40% year-on-year, and for January/February 2023 were down more than 50%. When it comes to the other gulf countries, all of which ...
Source: Mecardo
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