It's like a broken record, China keeps gobbling up our lamb and mutton

China charges way ahead in the race for Aussie lamb and mutton

Sheep
CHOP CHOP: China can't get enough of Australian lamb and mutton and now completely dominates our sheepmeat exports in volume terms.

CHOP CHOP: China can't get enough of Australian lamb and mutton and now completely dominates our sheepmeat exports in volume terms.

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The month of November has produced the same old story for Australian sheepmeat exports with China dominating the trade.

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China continues to gobble up Australian sheepmeat with imports of almost 20,000 tonnes in November, up 57 per cent on the same month last year.

Its November imports dwarfed those of key rival, the United States, which bought a total 6826 tonnes.

The next best was the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which imported 2748 tonnes, up 33pc on the previous month.

China imported 7267 tonnes of lamb in November, up 70pc year-on-year and a whopping 12,472 tonnes of mutton, up 50pc on the same month in 2018.

So far in 2019 China has imported a record 138,358 tonnes of Australian sheepmeat, a rise of 43pc year-on-year including 66,041 tonnes of lamb (up 35pc) and 72,317 tonnes of mutton (up 52pc).

China's demand for secondary lamb cuts has pushed prices to high levels.

The US has imported 53,373 tonnes of Australian lamb so far this year (up 4pc) and 15,079 tonnes of mutton (down 6pc).

Australia exported 421,954 tonnes of sheepmeat in the first 11 months of 2019, an increase of 4pc. Our lamb shipments have risen 5pc to 258,109 tonnes while mutton exports have climbed 1pc to 163,846 tonnes.

Our record yearly shipments of 447,252 tonnes set last year is now in danger of being surpassed this year.

Malaysia, the UAE, Japan, South Korea, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, EU and Jordan remain important buyers of Australian sheepmeat but are running a long distance behind the "big two".

While the UAE's total sheepmeat imports have dived by 11pc so far this year to 24,405 tonnes, its lamb imports have risen by 1pc to 18,836.

Malaysia's total imports have tracked down by 2pc to 22,415 tonnes but its lamb imports have remained steady at 6695 tonnes.

Qatar has imported 18,482 tonnes of Australian lamb so far this year, down just 1pc.

The story It's like a broken record, China keeps gobbling up our lamb and mutton first appeared on Farm Online.

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