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LIVE SHEEP EXPORT FROM AUSTRALIA TO BE THE LOWEST IN 20 YEARS

Exports of live sheep will drop to their lowest level in over 20 years in 2013 to around 2 million animals.

This is because of demand issues in key large markets – the self-imposed suspension of exports to Bahrain from August and delays in finalising approved Saudi Arabian supply chains.

The forecast was part of last week’s Meat & Livestock Australia 2013 Sheep Industry Projections report.

MLA chief economist Tim McRae said while some sheep could be diverted to Kuwait, the UAE and Oman, the numbers taken would depend on prices.

“The current prices of lives sheep, however, do make Australian sheep much more competitive on the global market,” he said.

“Unless there’s a significant change in the season, I’ve got no doubt the supply of sheep would be there if the avenues to market increase beyond what we expect.”

Despite market access challenges, the total number of sheep exported in 2012 ended at a similar figure to 2011, about 2.44m head.
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Markets tipped to increase in 2013 include Kuwait – to stay the largest live sheep market – up 3pc to 790,000 head; Jordan up 6pc to 350,000 head; and Turkey up 2pc to 275,000. Oman could increase 150pc to 50,000 head and the UAE by up to 50pc to 60,000.

Qatar will take 450,000 head, down 24pc. Israel will be down 62pc with only 25,000. Bahrain and Saudi Arabia will not take any sheep.

Bahrain was on track with previous solid import levels before the trade’s suspension in August.

There was a sharp decline in the number of sheep exported from Victoria in 2012, with its lowest total since 1989. WA remained the largest supply state at about 76pc of the trade’s total.

Countries that comply with the new regulatory conditions where exporters must have approved supply chains include Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, plus one audit has been completed for an Israeli importer.
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February 9th, 2013
Topic: IMPORT EXPORT, Sheep Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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