By Bill Tatt at The Western Magazine
9 April 2013
Beef exports to the Middle East set a new record for the month of February when sales of 5463 tonnes were achieved by our processors.
Saudi Arabia and Iran were major contributors to this surge with tallies of 2512 tonnes and 1112 tonnes respectively.
To 2012. Graphic: MLA
Brazil was the principal loser in these matters with the Saudis placing a ban on their beef in the latter end of 2012.
This was a dramatic fall for the South American country which, up until they were banned, had racked up 33,396 tonnes for the year.
To highlight how good this month was for our industry the five- year average for February stood at 272 tonnes and February 2012 saw a meagre 313 tonnes go to this particular country.
An aside to this upward trend is the continued necessity for producers to complete their NVDs correctly and make sure question nine referring to Russian and Saudi Arabia eligibility is, along with the rest of the document, completed correctly.
Lambs, not to be outdone, rose to 9077 tonnes to the end of February for countries designated as the Middle East.
This was a rise of 54 per cent year- on-year and some 200 per cent up on the five- year average.
The United Arab Emirates remained the principal destination receiving 2344 tonnes in the first two months of 2013.
Live sheep exports are expected to be at their lowest in more than 20 years during 2012-2013.
This side of the industry is tipped by analysts to recover in the short to medium term to reach 2.4 million head by 2017-18.
At that point in time ABARE predicts that the Australian sheep flock will, they suggest, stablise at about 80 million head after growing slightly year on year from now to then.
To 2012. Graphic: The Atlantic