Meat & Livestock News

2023: A Banner Year for Australian Meat Exports

The year 2023 stands out as a historic milestone in the annals of Australian agriculture, particularly in the meat export sector. The nation witnessed a remarkable surge in its lamb and mutton exports, setting new records. Lamb exports soared to an impressive 326,014 tonnes, while mutton exports reached a notable 209,580 tonnes, marking a significant achievement in Australia’s export history.

Central to this success story was China’s increasing demand for Australian meat. Lamb exports to China grew by 30%, reaching 67,763 tonnes, and mutton exports to the same destination rose by a striking 70%, amounting to 97,481 tonnes. This surge positioned China as a dominant player, accounting for a substantial 31% of Australia’s total sheepmeat market.

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region also played a key role in bolstering Australia’s export figures. After a less dynamic 2022, the region’s demand for Australian sheepmeat rebounded significantly, registering a 63% increase to 95,889 tonnes.

This resurgence solidified the MENA region as the second-largest market for Australian sheepmeat, with mutton exports witnessing an 84% increase to 37,373 tonnes.

In the realm of beef exports, 2023 was equally momentous. Australian beef exports escalated by 27%, reaching a peak of 1.08 million tonnes, the highest since 2019.

The United States emerged as the primary market, with an 84% increase in Australian beef imports, overtaking Japan. Although Japan remained a significant market, it experienced a temporary dip in imports, attributed to an oversupply and muted demand, which later saw a recovery.

Other markets, including China and South Korea, also showed a heightened appetite for Australian beef, with increases of 30% and 18%, respectively. Indonesia’s beef imports from Australia surged by 74%, further highlighting the growing global demand for Australian meat.

As we cast our gaze towards 2024, the prospects for Australian meat exports appear increasingly bright. With a global increase in protein demand and a concurrent decline in US beef production, Australia is poised for further expansion in its export markets. This optimistic outlook cements Australia’s position as a formidable force in the global meat trade, poised for continued success and growth in the industry.