US imports of Australian lamb lift by 50 per cent on last year

Australian exports of lamb lifted 36% in March from 2023 levels to 30,707 tonnes with the largest export market remaining the United States, where exports lifted 50% from last year to 7,336 tonnes, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.

At the same time, exports to the Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA) saw substantial increases, rising by 47% to 6,143 tonnes.

In particular, exports doubled to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, which rose to 977 tonnes and 931 tonnes, respectively.

Strong economic performance in Gulf countries, alongside a rapidly developing foodservice sector, continues to drive lamb exports into the MENA region.

Australian lamb exports are now making up more of global trade than ever before. Strong results in 2024 suggest that this will not let up anytime soon.

Mutton exports fell by 6% from March 2023 to 20,263 tonnes. While China remained the largest market, exports fell by 37% from last year to 5,990 tonnes. Outside of China, exports generally lifted, especially to the MENA region, where exports rose by 49% to 5,075 tonnes. In particular, exports to Saudi Arabia rose by 105% to 2,058 tonnes, which is the single biggest month since March 2015.

Exports of goat lifted by 5% from March last year to 3,643 tonnes. This was largely driven by exports to the United States, which lifted 73% year-on-year to 2,062 tonnes, or 57% of total exports. Outside of the US, exports to South Korea rose by 32% to 679 tonnes and exports to Taiwan fell by 27% from last year to 220 tonnes.