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W10: Weekly Lamb & Mutton Update

Updated Mar 13, 2023
Tridge's global market analysts and country representatives take a deep dive into what happened during W10 in the global lamb and mutton market. In summary, the FAO February meat price index was 0.1% lower MoM and 1.7% lower YoY with international sheep meat prices largely unchanged. Australian lamb and mutton exports grew 10% and 37% YoY to 11.77K MT and 15.59K MT respectively with the US (lamb) and China (mutton) being the main destinations in 2023. Kenya made an agreement with Iran to export 40-50MT of meat daily to boost farmers’ income. US January 2023 lamb exports of muscle cuts totaled 222MT, up 161% from the low year-ago volume, while export value essentially doubled to USD 1.1M. Lastly, the Moroccan government clarified that it only facilitates import procedures and does not direct any investor or importer to a specific market, stressing that “import is free”.


The FAO Meat Price Index Continues to Fall Globally (Mar 6)

The FAO meat price index stood at an average of 112.0 points in February, a slightly lower figure (0.1 points and 0.1%) than in January and 1.9 points (1 .7%) below its value a year ago. International sheep meat prices were also broadly unchanged as global demand was sufficient to absorb high supplies from Australia.


Sheep Eid System Harmonization Heads AMIC’s New South Wales Wish List in Australia (Mar 6)

Harmonization of the proposed mandatory sheep and goat electronic identification system heads the wish list of Australia’s meat processors in the lead-up to the New South Wales election on March 25. The Australian Meat Industry Council said it will ensure that issues affecting the meat industry are heard and addressed by whoever forms government after the election. AMIC would like to see the next NSW Government commit to nationally harmonized sheep and goat EID timelines. AMIC chief executive officer Patrick Hutchinson said having consistent sheep and goat traceability requirements across state and territory borders will reduce uncertainty and disruption to commercial activity. 

ABARES Forecasts Lamb and Sheep Sale Yard Price Decline (Mar 7)

Sale Yard lamb and sheep prices are expected to fall in 2022/23 due to increased supply and weaker consumer demand but would rise in the medium term, according to the latest ABARES commodities outlook. ABARES expected the benchmark Eastern Market Indicator for wool to increase 11% to USD 14.43/kg in 2023/24 and higher in a drier weather scenario. The sheep, lamb, and wool price forecasts come as the gross value of agricultural production in Australia is expected to reach USD 90M in 2022/23 despite flood impacts, largely as a result of gains in cropping. Farm cash income for all broadacre farms is projected to decrease nationally by around 7% to average USD 327K/farm in 2022/23 but remain 46% above the 10-year average. ABARES said flock rebuilding has increased the supply of sheep and lambs available for slaughter and has put downward pressure on prices. 

Livestock SA Reaffirms Sheep and Goat Eid Rollout Funding Principles (Mar 8)

Livestock SA has reaffirmed its principles for funding and rollout mandatory sheep and goat identification in South Australia as an implementation plan is prepared. The state’s Sheep and Goat Traceability Committee has forwarded an ACIL Allen business case for the EID rollout to the State Government but is yet to complete an implantation plan. The peak South Australian red meat and wool body on March 8 said it had reviewed and reaffirmed its commitment to realize the best outcomes for producers and the industry. Livestock SA chief executive officer Travis Tobin said that while Livestock SA is delivering the Sheep and Goat Traceability EID project with funding from the government and the Sheep Industry Fund, the organization also considered the findings from the project’s supply chain steering committee in a separate process to determine if and how these recommendations will be supported.

Australian Exports Pick up the Pace (Mar 9)

In total, sheep meat exports have grown by 19% to 38.36K MT YoY. In 2023, lamb exports grew by 10% to 11.77K MT, however, mutton exports made the largest growth, rising by 37% to 15.59K MT. For lamb exports YoY, the United States grew by 3% to 5.55K MT, remaining the largest market for Australian lamb. China grew by 15% to 4.52K MT. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region grew by 32% to 3.59K MT. South Korea grew by 63% to 1.8K MT. For mutton exports YoY, China grew by 59% to 6.41K MT, the largest shipment of Australian mutton to any market on record. Malaysia grew by 27% to 2.43K MT. The United States grew by 59% to 1.18K MT.

New Zealand

Campaign to Rescue Farmers From Policy Tsunami in New Zealand (Mar 7)

Beef and Lamb NZ and rural advocacy group 50 Shades of Green have launched a campaign to raise awareness about what they see as crippling government policies. The Kiwis Backing Farmers campaign highlights what it says is an overwhelming wave of policies and proposals threatening the future of sheep and beef farms and rural communities across New Zealand. BLNZ chair Andrew Morrison said the cumulative impact of all the policy changes affecting sheep and beef farmers is massive and likely to drive many to consider if they have a future in the sector.

Subdued Start to the Year for Red Meat Sector Exports (Mar 8)

New Zealand’s red meat sector exports had a slow start to the year with total export values down by 7% compared to January 2022, according to an analysis by the Meat Industry Association (MIA). Overall, red meat exports for the month were worth USD 858M with a drop in export values to most major markets including China (USD 344M), down 10%, followed by the US (USD 177M), down 6%, Japan (USD 31M), down 22%, and the UK (USD 30M), down 26%. For sheep meat, a total of 36.50K MT was exported globally, an increase of 18% by volume but a drop in value of 5% to USD 343M in January 2022.

United Kingdom

Welsh Lamb Looks to New Export Opportunities in US (Mar 8)

Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), the Welsh Government, and the whole PGI Welsh Lamb supply chain are set to work together to launch a major drive to tap into the American export market. Restrictions on the import of UK lamb into the USA were finally lifted last year, and Welsh processors have been leading the way in obtaining the necessary inspections and certification in order to begin exporting. The initial promotional program will kick off with attendance at the ‘summit’ of the American meat industry, the Annual Meat Conference (AMC), at which meetings are planned with importers and distributors. Welsh Lamb will feature in a trade show to be held alongside the AMC event, and HCC and processor representatives will also use the opportunity to visit leading US retailers to further research the potential market. 

Showcasing British Lamb’s Versatility Could Boost Exports to the US (Mar 10)

According to Dunbia’s Commercial Manager Tom Coles, the biggest opportunity lies in the size of the population with over 300M people, the majority of whom are meat eaters. But Mr. Coles recognizes that growing lamb exports is going to be challenging due to its high price and competition from already established importers. “With lamb being expensive compared to other proteins, and other countries such as Australia and New Zealand already established in this market, the biggest challenge I see is reaching those discerning customers in the premium food service sector in the hope that the popularity of lamb will continue to grow,” he said.


Hogget Quotes Jump 25 C/KG in W10 (Mar 6)

There has been a positive uplift in factory quotes for W10, with hogget prices up by 25-30c/kg when compared to last week’s factory quotes. At the start of last week, prices increased by 10c/kg, leaving the general run of hogget prices last week at USD 6.43/kg (€6) ‘all in’. Ewe's price was USD 3.22- 3.54/kg (€3.00-3.30), depending on the outlet. Prices at the higher end of the market are now at USD 6.97/kg (€6.50) for hogget, with deals being secured by some producers, particularly where larger numbers are on hand. Meanwhile, prices at the higher end of the scale for ewes are ranging from USD 3.75- 3.86/kg (€3.50-3.60). Kildare Chilling has increased its quote for hogget to USD 6.65/kg (€6.20) plus a 10c/kg Quality Assurance (QA) bonus. Irish Country Meats also moved its hogget price up to a base of USD 6.49/kg (€6.05) plus a 20c/kg QA bonus, while reports from other plants indicate a base price of USD 6.49/kg (€6.05) plus a 15c/kg QA bonus.

Sheep Farmers Hardest Hit by Brexit in Ireland (Mar 8)

Sheep farming has been the sector hardest hit by the consequences of Brexit, according to the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA). The farming organization has renewed its call on the government to use the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) fund to “rescue” the sector which has been hit by low prices and spiraling input costs. The association is campaigning for a portion of the BAR fund to be used for a USD 53.62M (€50M) emergency support package for sheep farmers to cover 2023 and 2024. On February 28, the ICSA held a protest outside the gates of Leinster House where it sought support from all political parties for the country’s sheep farmers. ICSA Sheep Committee chair Sean McNamara said that it is vital that politicians and consumers support the sheep farmers.


Temporary Subsidy for Wolf-Resistant Measures in Berkelland (Mar 7)

Sheep and goat farmers in the municipality of Berkelland can apply for a subsidy from the province of Gelderland until March 15 to take wolf-resistant measures. Within 1 week there were 2 attacks by probably a wolf in 2 adjacent municipalities outside the wolf area. On February 26 there was an attack in Eibergen and on March 1 there was an attack on a sheep in Haaksbergen. That is why the calamity scheme is temporarily open.


Kenya to Export 40-50MT Meat Daily to Iran to Help Boost Farmers’ Income and Economy (Mar 9)

The Kenyan government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made an agreement with Iran to export 40-50MT of meat daily to boost farmers' income. This meat export volume is projected to earn USD 6M monthly. The long-term objective is to boost the country's economy by providing export opportunities for farmers and traders.


The Municipal Animal Epidemic Control Center and Relevant Institutions Carry Out Knowledge Training Courses on Prevention and Control of Zoonotic Diseases in Tongchuan, Shaanxi (Mar 8)

On March 2, the Tongchuan Animal Disease Prevention and Control Center, the Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Municipal Animal Health Supervision Institute held a knowledge training class on zoonotic disease prevention and control in Yijun County. The staff in charge of animal disease prevention and control in Yijun County More than 30 practitioners from cattle and sheep farms participated in the training. Relevant business personnel from Tongchuan Animal Disease Prevention and Control Center, Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and Municipal Animal Health Supervision Institute discussed the symptoms and hazards of brucellosis in cattle and sheep, the establishment of biosafety measures for farm households, disinfection of farm households and dead livestock and poultry 

United States

Robust January for US Lamb Exports (Mar 10)

January exports of US lamb muscle cuts totaled 222MT, up 161% from the low year-ago volume, while export value essentially doubled to USD 1.1M (up 99%). Growth was led by strong increases to Mexico and the Caribbean, while shipments were also higher to Canada and Guatemala.


The Number of Curly Sheep in Sındırgı Exceeded 80K (Mar 7)

In order to reproduce Balıkesir's registered Balıkesir lamb, a "breeding sheep production facility" was established with the cooperation of the Metropolitan Municipality and the Sındırgı municipality. The Sındırgı district of Balıkesir, which has the highest number of curly sheep in Turkey, is preparing to become a brand value in the field of animal husbandry. The number of curly sheep in Sındırgı has exceeded 80K due to the support made in the field of animal husbandry by Balıkesir Metropolitan Municipality, Sındırgı Municipality, and District Agriculture Directorate and the breeding sheep distributed before. In order to increase production even more and to support the citizens dealing with animal husbandry, a breeding curly lamb production facility was established on an area of 11.930K square meters in Sındırgı. The target capacity of the facility, which was put into operation with 200 breeding sheep and 12 lambs, is 800. 

Alum Brake on Meat Hikes in Turkey (Mar 11)

While the wrong policies implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry dragged Turkey into a dead end in animal husbandry, the ever-increasing meat prices finally stopped this week. Carcass cutting prices have increased by only 50 cents in W9. The lean cut of lamb, which was USD 8.03 (152.34 lira) in W9, was USD 8.13 (154.13 liras) in W10. 

Tüdki̇Yeb’s Proposal for Sheep and Goat Support With a 75% Grant for Earthquake-Affected Producers to the Ministry of Agriculture (Mar 11)

Nihat Çelik, the Chairman of the Turkey Breeding Sheep and Goat Breeders' Center Union (TÜDKİYEB), stated that they presented an important project to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in order to support the breeders in the earthquake area. Stating that the project aims to increase the number of animals in the enterprises of the producers engaged in sheep and goat breeding in the earthquake zone to at least 200, Çelik noted that 75% grant support is foreseen for the purchase of sheep and goats for the earthquake victims.


In 2022, Fewer Animals Were Slaughtered in Slaughterhouses Than the Year Before (Mar 10)

42.4K sheep were slaughtered in 2022, which is an annual decrease of 12%. More than 5.4K ewes were slaughtered, with a total live weight of 263MT, according to the AKI publication.


The Government Clarifies Regarding the Import of Eid Sacrifices From Australia (Mar 8)

The official spokesman for the government, Mustafa Paytas, revealed that the government took various measures 15 days ago in order to facilitate the process of importing sheep, to face the shortage in the Moroccan market. Paytas confirmed that following the governing council meeting, held on Mar 8, in response to the controversy over importing sheep from Australia, that the government has only facilitated import procedures and does not direct any investor or importer to a specific market in order to import sheep from it, stressing that "import is free".

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