Lambs on a rollercoaster
THE lamb markets have continued their wild ride over the past 10 days with price fluctuations of $30 to $50 per head in many interstate markets.
The markets later in the week appear to have stabilised but all will depend on supply over the next six weeks.
Locally, we are still in the early stages of the new lamb season and so the big fluctuations haven’t hit our markets.
I found an interesting mutton article released by Meat and Livestock Australia during the week, which talked about the very strong Malaysian market for Australian product.
Even with sheep slaughter set to finish 2018 up 23 per cent on last year, the national mutton indicator has nudged record territory this year. The index has been hovering beers, tween 400c/kg and 500c/kg carcass weight, which is in stark contrast to the drought years of 2002 and 2006 when the indicator averaged 165c/kg and 141c/kg respectively.
Malaysia is Australia’s second-largest mutton market, worth $310 million in the financial year 2017-2018. Reports indicate that despite being niche proteins, the frequency of sheep and goat meat consumption is relatively high in Malaysian diets.
It is also interesting to note that Australian lamb is perceived as a “family favourite” by many Malaysian consum- which is a good guide that this market will grow over the next few years.
Malaysia is a multicultural nation of approximately 32 million people. Not only is sheep and goat meat popular within the Muslim community, which accounts for about 60 per cent of the population, but they are also enjoyed across other consumer segments thanks to a lack of religious taboos.
The expansion of contemporary, western-style restaurants, tourism and an expatriate population are the key growth drivers for sheep and goat meat consumption.
I must say I am surprised with the volumes of our sheepmeats consumed in Malaysia and this just shows how widespread our markets are.