Australian lamb exports during 2007 smashed the previous calendar year record, as increased domestic production was matched by strong export demand, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.
But exports for 2008 are forecast to decline from the 2007 record volumes, as tighter lamb production, higher lamb prices and a high Australian dollar impacts shipments.
MLA today reports that shipments for 2007 surpassed the previous record of 2006 by 10pc, to 161,037 tonnes (shipped weight) – the third consecutive year of record shipments, according to the Department of Agriculture.
MLA says the growth in lamb shipments over the past three years has been largely fuelled by the combination of strong demand, particularly from the US, the Middle East and North Asia.
Since 2004, Australian lamb exports have increased 44pc, with exports more than doubling in the past 10 years.
Complementing the growth in shipments has been a concerted shift towards lamb production, with producers responding to favourable returns and increased demand.
Shipments to the Middle East for 2007 jumped 26pc year-on-year, to a record 22,277t, as increased volumes were reported to the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Jordan.
SYDNEY, Jan.9, 2008 (News Agencies)