Meat & Livestock News

Australian Red Meat Exports Surge Amid Global Demands


  • February saw a 36% increase in red meat exports from Australia, reaching 150,118 tonnes.
  • Sheepmeat exports reached a record high for any month at 52,351 tonnes.
  • Japan emerged as the top beef market for Australia for the first time since February 2023.

In a remarkable development for the Australian red meat industry, exports have experienced a significant surge, reaching new heights in response to global demand. February’s figures show a 36% increase in red meat exports compared to the same period last year, totalling 150,118 tonnes.

This growth is attributed to the robust demand in key export markets and a strategic increase in Australian production, positioning the country as a leading supplier amidst global supply shifts.

Sheepmeat and Beef Exports Break Records

The sheepmeat sector, encompassing both lamb and mutton, reported unprecedented export volumes in February, with a combined total of 52,351 shipped weight tonnes (swt). This peak is particularly noteworthy as it occurred in February, traditionally a month of lower export volumes due to its shorter length and seasonal production cycles.

The United States and China remain pivotal markets for Australian lamb, with exports to these countries increasing by 36% and 15% year-on-year, respectively. Mutton exports also saw a significant rise, with China and Saudi Arabia being the largest and fastest-growing markets, respectively.

Beef exports were not far behind, with a 33% year-on-year increase to 93,834 swt, marking one of the highest February totals on record. Japan has reclaimed its position as the largest market for Australian beef, followed by significant demand from the USA and China. This resurgence in the Japanese market is linked to the reduction of meat backlogs in cold storage, indicating a strong and growing demand for Australian beef across global markets.

Goat Meat Exports and Market Dynamics

The goat meat sector also witnessed remarkable growth, with the United States becoming the largest export market in February. Exports to the US soared by 143% year-on-year, accounting for 55% of the total export volume.

Other major markets, including South Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, and Taiwan, also saw substantial increases in import volumes from Australia.

This surge in red meat exports from Australia reflects the industry’s resilience and adaptability in meeting global demands. With strategic increases in production and a keen focus on key export markets, Australia continues to strengthen its position as a leading supplier of high-quality red meat on the world stage.