The European Union is the largest lamb consumer and number one importer of lamb; 99 percent of the lamb imported originates from Australia and New Zealand. In Australia, the Leg of Lamb Roast is considered the national dish. Mongolia, Turkmenistan, New Zealand, Iceland, and Greece are the countries where the biggest eaters of sheep live. An average Mongolian eats nearly 50 kilograms of sheep and goat meat a year, according to Faostat. Central Europeans are on the other end of the scale hardly eating more than 0.5 kilograms a year per capita.
Top importers of sheep meat are:
- United Kingdom
- Hong Kong SAR
The top sheep meat exporting countries are:
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
World’s Top Importers And Exporters Of Sheep Meat
Global sheep meat production growth is slowing down, according to the latest assessment by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. Currently, the global sheep population stands at more than 1 billion heads with 19 percent found in Asia and Africa.
Sheep Meat Importers
The largest importers of sheep and goat meat are China, the USA, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Hong Kong SAR, Malaysia, Netherlands, and Italy. Young goat meat is designated as cabrito, adult goat meat is called chevon. Goat meat is popular in many parts of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Goat meat is tasty and sweet and prepared in stews, baked, curried, grilled, fried, or barbecued. The other favorite meat is sheep meat young lamb meat at a year old is called lamb, meat from lamb older than a year is called hogget while adult sheep meat is called mutton. Although in many Asian countries, sheep and goat meat are both designated as mutton. Sheep and lamb meat are cooked in many ways such as in curry, roasted, steamed, hot pot, haggis, sweetbreads, or kebabs.
International sales of exported sheep and lamb meat totaled 7.08 billion dollars in 2020, up by 29.9 percent for all sheep and lamb meat shippers over the five years starting in 2016.
From 2019 to 2020, the value of exported meat garnered from sheep and lambs decreased by minus 6.7 percent.
Drilling down to more detailed product types, the most valuable form of exported sheep and lamb meat were frozen cuts of sheep including bones at 42.8 percent of the overall total. In second place were exported fresh or chilled cuts of sheep meat including bones at 16.5 percent ahead of fresh or chilled lamb carcasses and half carcasses at 12.9 percent and frozen boneless cuts of sheep meat at 11.9 percent.
Smaller percentages are attributed to fresh or chilled boneless cuts of sheep meat at 6.9 percent, fresh, chilled, or frozen goat meat at 4.1 percent, fresh or chilled sheep carcasses and half carcasses at 3.3 percent, frozen sheep carcasses, and half carcasses at 3 percent then frozen lamb carcasses and half carcasses at 1.9 percent.
Here are the 10 countries that exported the overall highest dollar value worth of sheep and lamb meat during 2020.
Australia is the highest exporter with 2.6 billion dollars up by 42.3 percent from 2016 followed by New Zealand with 2.5 million dollars up by 37.4 percent. Next is the United Kingdom with 560.3 million dollars up by 26.8 percent Ireland stands at the fourth position with 390.1 million dollars up by 32.4 percent. Spain is the fifth-highest exporter of sheep meat with 207.2 million dollars up by 33.2 percent in previous years. Others include the Netherlands with 196.4 million up by 6.1 percent, Uruguay with 73.1 million up by 51.1 percent, Belgium with 61.8 million dollars down by minus 29 percent, India with 48.4 million dollars down by 61.4 percent and France is the tenth largest exporter of sheep meat with 47.3 million dollars down by 5.7 percent.
By value, the listed 10 countries shipped 95.1 percent of all exported sheep and lamb meat in 2020
Among the above countries, the fastest growing exporters of sheep and lamb meat since 2016 are Uruguay up by 51.1 percent, Australia up by 42.3 percent, and New Zealand up by 37.4 percent.
Leading decliners from 2016 to 2020 was India thanks to its minus 61.4 percent reduction.
The following 10 countries sold the greatest amount of frozen sheep meat on global markets during 2020 by dollar value: New Zealand with 2.02 billion dollars up by 58.3 percent from 2016, Australia with 1.7 billion up by 55 percent, the Netherlands with 103.9 million dollars up by 15.6 percent, Spain with 78.5 million dollars up by 71.7 percent, Uruguay with 73.1 million dollars up by 51.5 percent, Ireland with 58.2 million dollars up by 79.9 percent, the United Kingdom with 48.8 million dollars up by 34.7 percent, Chile with 35.9 million dollars up by 47.6 percent, Germany with 29.8 million dollars down by minus 31.6 percent and Belgium with 24.5 million dollars down by minus 45.2 percent.
By value, the listed 10 countries shipped 97.2 percent of exports of frozen sheep meat in 2020. International sales of frozen sheep meat rose 48.3 percent since 2016 but were down by minus 5.7 percent from 2019 to 2020.
Among the above countries, the fastest growing exporters of frozen sheep meat since 2016 were Ireland up by 79.9 percent, and Spain up by minus 71.7 percent.
The pair of decliners over the 5 years was Belgium which was down by minus 45.2 percent and Germany which was down by minus 31.6 percent.
By dollar value, the following 10 countries sold the greatest amount of fresh or chilled sheep meat to international buyers during 2020:
Australia with 958.1 million dollars up by 24.5 percent from 2016, the United Kingdom with 511.5 million dollars up by 26.1 percent, New Zealand with 507.2 million dollars down by minus 9.9 percent, Ireland with 331.9 million dollars up by minus 26.6 percent, Spain with 128.7 million dollars up by 17.2 percent, the Netherlands with 92.5 million dollars down by minus 2.9 percent, France with 40.6 million dollars down by minus 2.4 percent, Pakistan with 37.8 million dollars up by 41.1 percent, Belgium with 37.3 million dollars down by 11.9 percent, Greece with 31.9 million dollars up by 36.9 percent.
By value, the listed 10 countries shipped 94.9 percent of exports of fresh or chilled sheep meat in 2020. Worldwide revenues from exported fresh or chilled sheep meat gained 9.4 percent since 2016 but fell in value by minus 7.8 percent from 2019 to 2020.
Among the above countries, the fastest growing exporters of fresh or chilled sheep meat since 2016 were Pakistan up by 41.1 percent, and Greece up by 36.9 percent.
Belgium was the top decliner over the 5 years via a minus 11.9 percent retreat.
The revenue of the lamb and sheepmeat market in the Asia Pacific amounted to 26 Billion Dollars in 2018, increasing by 2.2 percent from the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price. The total market indicated a prominent increase from 2007 to 2018: its value increased at an average annual rate of plus 1.1 percent over the last eleven-year period. The level of lamb and sheepmeat consumption peaked in 2018 and is likely to see steady growth in the immediate term.
Consumption By Country
The country with the largest volume of lamb and sheepmeat consumption was China with 2.7 Million tonnes, accounting for 73 percent of the total volume. Moreover, lamb and sheepmeat consumption in China exceeded the figures recorded by the second-largest consumer, Australia with 250 thousand tonnes. The third position in this ranking was occupied by India with 207 thousand tonnes accounting for a 5.6 percent share.
From 2007 to 2018, the average annual growth rate of volume in China amounted to plus 2.3 percent. In the other countries, the average annual rates were as follows: Australia with minus 3.0 percent per year and India with minus 1.9 percent per year.
In value terms, China with 20.1 Billion Dollars led the market, alone. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Australia with 1.4 Billion Dollars. It was followed by India. In 2018, the highest levels of lamb and sheepmeat per capita consumption were registered in Australia with 10,056 kilograms per 1000 persons, followed by Afghanistan with 3,272 kilograms per 1000 persons, China with 1,861 kilograms per 1000 persons, and Pakistan with 859 kilograms per 1000 persons, while the average per capita consumption of lamb and sheep meat in the region was estimated at 886 kilograms per 1000 persons.
Imports In Asia Pacific
China dominates the lamb and sheepmeat imports structure, reaching 282 thousand tonnes, which was approximately 64 percent of total imports. Malaysia with 36 thousand tonnes took an 8.1 percent share based on tonnes of total imports, which put it in second place, followed by Japan with 5.8 percent.
The following importers: Singapore with 19 thousand tonnes, Taiwan Chinese with 19 thousand tonnes, South Korea with 16 thousand tonnes, Papua New Guinea with 12 thousand tonnes and China, Hong Kong SAR with 7.8 thousand tonnes together made up 17 percent of total imports.
China was also the fastest-growing in terms of lamb and sheepmeat imports, with a CAGR of plus 16.8 percent from 2007 to 2018. At the same time, South Korea with plus 14.4 percent, Malaysia with plus 6.6 percent, Singapore with plus 6.4 percent, China, Hong Kong SAR with plus 1.1 percent, and Japan with plus 1.0 percent also displayed positive paces of growth.
Taiwan, meanwhile, experienced a relatively flat trend pattern. By contrast, Papua New Guinea with minus 7.0 percent illustrated a downward trend over the same period.
In value terms, China with 884 million dollars constitutes the largest market for imported lamb and sheep meat in the Asia Pacific, comprising 48 percent of total lamb and sheepmeat imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Japan with 204 million, with an 11 percent share of total imports. It was followed by Malaysia, with a 9.7 percent share.
Import Prices by Country
In 2018, the lamb and sheep meat import price in the Asia Pacific amounted to 4,157 dollars per tonne, coming down by minus 3.3 percent from the previous year. There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major importing countries. In 2018, the country with the highest price was South Korea with 8,067 per tonne, while China with 3,132 per tonne was amongst the lowest.
Sheep meat is the meat of domestic sheep, Ovis aries. A sheep in its first year is a lamb and its meat is also lamb. The meat from sheep in their second year is hogget. Older sheep meat is mutton. Generally, are not used by consumers outside New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia. Hogget is becoming increasingly commonly eaten in England, particularly in the Northern areas like Lancashire and Yorkshire often in association with the rare breed and organic farming.
Lamb is the most expensive of the three types and in recent decades sheep meat is increasingly only retailed as lamb, sometimes stretching the accepted distinctions given above. The stronger-tasting mutton is now hard to find in many areas, despite the efforts of the Mutton Renaissance Campaign in the UK. In Australia, the term prime lamb is often used to refer to lambs raised for meat. Other languages, for example, French, Spanish, Italian and Arabic, make similar or even more detailed distinctions among sheep meats by age and sometimes by sex and diet for example, lechazo in Spanish refers to meat from milk-fed or unweaned lambs.
Throughout the world, the most popular Easter symbol is the lamb. The reference to lamb in Christianity goes back to the book of Genesis When Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son. In past centuries it was considered a lucky omen to meet a lamb, especially at Easter time. In the 7th century, the Benedictine monks wrote a prayer for the blessing of lambs. A few hundred years later the pope adopted it and a whole roasted lamb became the feature of the Pope’s Easter Dinner and has been ever since.
While sheep meat only accounts for 6 percent of the world’s meat consumption now, it is the principal meat in regions of North Africa, the Middle East, India, and parts of Europe.
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The global sheep population stands at more than 1 billion heads. Australia is the highest exporter with 2.6 billion dollars up by 42.3 percent from 2016. The total market value increased at an average annual rate of plus 1.1 percent over the last eleven-year period.
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