Australian sheep meat export opportunities and challenges abound

POTENTIAL to develop Australian sheep meat exports continues in main export markets, however with the opportunities there are additionally challenges on the home market and abroad, based on Meat & Livestock Australia’s new on-line market snapshots.

MLA’s market intelligence supervisor, Scott Tolmie, stated Australia provides pink meat to over 100 nations and with commerce closely influenced by altering shopper demand in these markets, it was essential producers had entry to detailed insights.

“The snapshots are designed to allow producers to be extra knowledgeable when having discussions with their provide chain companions and – armed with a greater understanding of the place their product goes – make extra knowledgeable enterprise selections about their very own manufacturing and on-farm investments.

“Knowing the consumer and operating environment in key markets is critical to ensure the right product is being sent to the right market,” Mr Tolmie stated.

The snapshots cowl 11 key markets for beef and eight key markets for sheep meat, together with Australia, the United States, Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South-East Asia, Indonesia, the European Union, and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) area. There is a separate international snapshot for goat meat

“The snapshots goal to not solely present info round what’s driving export volumes and values, however a extra ahead wanting evaluation of what are the buyer and business developments that may affect Australia’s future purple meat exports into every market.

Lamb faces challenges in Australia

Domestically, challenges embrace demographic modifications favouring pork and hen consumption, the upper profile of fish protein and rising dwelling prices limiting disposable revenue.

Maintaining worth share shall be a problem if lamb’s home worth premium to hen/pork grows bigger, as the first purpose for shoppers consuming much less purple meat is presently resulting from value and not well being, the snapshot stated.

However, the ‘premiumisation’ development in retail and foodservice indicated Australian shoppers are prepared to pay extra for the appropriate supply, together with recent meats comparable to lamb.

“Messaging around factors such as country of origin, environmental impact, animal welfare, health and safety, along with food integrity and transparency, provide opportunities to consider in consumer communication.”

US sheep meat consumption rising

American consumption of Australian sheep meat grew 6pc final yr, with opportunities popping out of shopper willingness to attempt lamb, though it continues to be an unfamiliar protein for many US shoppers.

Opportunities for progress of Australian lamb are seen within the fast service restaurant and informal eating sectors and the US will proceed to depend on imported sheep meat to fulfill shopper demand, as native manufacturing is predicted to proceed declining.

“However, differentiating Australian from New Zealand lamb remains a challenge, as many US consumers are still not able to accurately distinguish between the origins.”

Post-Brexit negotiations key to EU and UK lamb markets

The MLA stated market entry is the first barrier stopping greater Australian sheep meat exports to this market, though formal Australian-EU Free Trade Agreement negotiations are anticipated to start in early 2018.

Despite the quantity limitations, the EU is one in every of Australia’s most useful export markets and, with a big and rising variety of rich shoppers, stays a key area for our premium product, the snapshot stated.

The United Kingdom is Australia’s largest market inside the 28-member union and its exit from the EU in March 2019 might influence Australia’s sheep meat commerce to the area.

“The UK should end negotiating the phrases of its exit from the EU, previous to partaking different nations in formal commerce negotiations.

“The Australian Government has expressed an urge for food to pursue future commerce opportunities with the UK by way of an eventual FTA.

Abattoir eligibility with China is a precedence

China is the world’s largest importer of sheep meat, however import demand is risky and closely impacted by home manufacturing cycles and opportunistic small farmers.

The MLA snapshot stated there’s a small however rising area of interest marketplace for premium Australian lamb within the high-end foodservice and retail sectors of the bigger coastal cities.

While the China-Australia FTA is decreasing tariffs on Australian sheep meat, growing the variety of crops eligible to export to China stays a precedence, notably for chilled product, the report stated.

Australia has had one plant granted entry to China for chilled sheep meat since early 2016. In 2017, New Zealand started a six-month trial entry to China for chilled sheep meat involving 10 crops.

Strong NZ lamb competitors in Japan

Japan is Australia’s largest chilled lamb buyer inside Asia and there are presently no sheep meat import tariffs or volume-technical entry points.

Australian sheep meat has opportunities to additional increase its presence past Genghis Khan (sliced lamb shoulder cooked on a table-top grill) dishes, however growing consciousness and familiarity for lamb amongst shoppers stays essential to unlocking future progress, the snapshot stated.

Australia is well-placed as the most important provider to seize any progress within the sheep meat market, however competitors from New Zealand stays robust, notably within the retail channel.

Australia well-placed in Middle East and North Africa

Australia has been a key sheep meat provider to Middle East and North African markets for a lot of many years and has constructed a robust, constructive status, the snapshot stated.

Mr Tolmie stated premium lamb consumption and import demand in MENA are forecast to proceed to develop, pushed by growing disposable incomes, ongoing urbanisation and westernisation, and giant rich expat populations.

“Australia is well-placed to meet the growing demand in this higher value segment of the sheep meat market,” the snapshot stated.

Technical limitations to commerce are vital within the area and differ between nations.

“Removing these barriers is a priority for Australia to improve trade, competitiveness and the ease of doing business in the region.”

Consistent export progress into Korea

Sheep meat is a minor protein in Korea however is quickly gaining reputation, notably within the foodservice sector, the snapshot stated.

There are a progress opportunities, particularly for chilled product, and one secret is establishing lamb as a protein choice, utilizing naturalness and security claims on packs to assist appeal to buyers’ consideration.

Although Australian lamb’s presence within the retail surroundings stays restricted, exports elevated seven-fold to 12,777 tonnes within the final 10 years.

“This consistent growth in demand indicates there is an emerging appreciation for this protein and a growing consumer base.”

Australian lamb battles pork and hen in South East Asia

MLA stated shoppers’ lack of information and familiarity with sheep meat, coupled with the excessive costs, have led to a limitation in consumption in South East Asia.

However, sheep meat consumption throughout SEA is forecast to develop, supported by its giant Muslim shopper base, the increasing younger and city populations, strong progress within the tourism sector, elevated enlargement of barbecue and scorching pot eating places in giant cities and the rising quantity of shoppers eating out.

Sheep meat is a distinct segment meat protein and consumed far lower than hen, pork, and beef within the area. With many shoppers not rising up consuming sheep meat, it stays relatively unfamiliar, the snapshot stated.

Goat meat opportunities with adventurous cooks

Goat meat is seen as moral, sustainable and protected, in line with MLA’s international snap shot for the meat.

But familiarity and availability are key challenges for goat meat consumption, with some shoppers additionally involved with its robust flavour and texture.

Many shoppers not contemplating goat meat will not be positive the place it comes from and they don’t find out about manufacturing methods. However, progress opportunities for the meat are believed to be highest amongst house cooks who’re probably looking for a problem.

“For these consumers, a strong taste and an association with exotic cuisines may be an advantage,” the MLA snapshot report stated.


To learn the snapshots, click here.

Source: MLA.


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