Aussie lamb exports to Qatar are down
Australian lamb has lost its place in the Qatari market. "Unfortunately, lamb exports to the Middle East remain constrained relative to some of the levels seen early last year. Much of this is to do with the Qatari Government abruptly ending the subsidy on imported lamb, which came into effect at the end of December 2020. Australian lamb exports to Qatar averaged 1,600 tonnes swt per month through 2020, however, were just shy of 600 tonnes swt in both January and February this year.
For mutton, exports in February were 12,200 tonnes swt, back slightly from the 14,700 tonnes swt in February 2020. China remains the largest destination by far, accounting for over half of all mutton exports in February. Mutton exports to the Middle East did pick up, reaching 1,400 tonnes swt, marking the highest total since April last year. Mutton exports to Qatar are up 91% for the year-to-February (albeit off a low base), with importers evidently making a switch from buying lamb", commented MLA in its latest market report. However, the country reported 21,600 tonnes in lamb exports last month, a decline of 9% on February last year and this was a marked improvement on the level of trade seen in January (13,600 tonnes swt). China was the major destination, taking 5,600 tonnes swt for the month, while the US was close behind with 5,300 tonnes swt. Lamb continues to perform well through retail channels across the US, with trade in February mirroring some of the good export volumes through the second half of 2020.
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