Australia and New Zealand are set to fill their quotas for sheepmeat exports to the EU in 2016, according to a recent report from Meat and Livestock Australia.

According to the MLA’s Market information and Industry insights report, it expects total exports of lamb and mutton to the EU to remain steady in 2016.

It also says that this quota arrangement will prevent any growth in the export sector with the tight Australian and New Zealand supply forecast for 2016 helping to maintain prices.

The New Zealand supply is expected to remain tight on the back of anticipated lower production on a year-to-year basis in 2016, it says.

However, despite this decline, it says, that New Zealand still has a distinctive advantage within the EU market as it accounts for 80% (228,254t) of the total exports to the EU.

The report also indicates that sheepmeat production is also set to increase in the UK in 2016, with early indications suggesting that total production will reach 313,200t as a result of a larger breeding flock.

In 2015, it says that Australian exports to the EU have remained similar to previous years.

To the end of November in 2015, Australia had already filled 98% (18,893t) of its total quota to the EU making it the only country that filled its allocated quota for the past few years.

However, New Zealand quota usage has fallen short for the third consecutive year with it only filling 70% on average between 2013 to 2015.

Chinese sheepmeat imports drop 22%

Chinese sheepmeat imports in the first nine months of 2015 have fallen 22%, following the trend that began in the second half of 2014, according to AHDB.

The organisation for the English beef and sheep industry (AHDB) has said that large supplies of sheepmeat in China have led to falling import demand.

Total volumes in the first nine months of 2015 stood at 177,400t,  down 22% year-on-year, AHDB stated.

Imports of sheepmeat to China had been increasing in previous years and according to AHDB this, coupled with high levels of domestic production so far this year, has led to large stocks in cold storage within China, causing prices to fall.