Australian lamb exports hit an all-time monthly high in August while beef exports were the highest in three-and-a-half years, as international demand for WA red meat soars. Australia exported 31,779 tonnes of lamb last month — 14 per cent more than in July and 51 per cent above the five-year average for August — according to new figures from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. WA was the third-largest exporter by State, exporting 823t more lamb than in the same month last year. Victoria took top spot with 14,831t, followed by New South Wales (9235t), WA (3795t), Queensland (518t) and Tasmania (257t). Episode 3 analyst Matt Dalgleish said it was a positive outcome for the sector, with growing demand for Australian lamb in most key trade destinations reflecting the benefits of diverse market access. “(This) is no mean feat given export volumes seen in July were uncharacteristically high already,” he said. The figures, released this week, revealed a 31 per cent gain in demand for Australian lamb from the nation’s biggest importer, China. Mr Dalgleish said this contradicted anecdotal reports from the past month that sheepmeat cold store space was filling up in China. “There was 7310t of Aussie lamb sent to China in August, which is the fourth-highest monthly flow on record for lamb exports from Australia to China,” he said. “Compared to the five-year average pattern, current Australian lamb export flows sit 57 per cent above the seasonal trend.” Lamb exports to the US increased 4 per cent in August to 6304t and were 24 per cent above the five-year average, edging closer to the historically high volumes of 2021 and 2022. Lamb exports to all other destinations shot up 12 per cent to a record monthly high of 18,165t — 61 per cent above the five-year average for August. BOOMING BEEF Australia exported 102,351t of beef in August — a 5 per cent lift from July, and the first time monthly trade volumes hit six figures since December 2019. WA was the fifth-largest exporter of beef by State, exporting 169t more than in August last year. QLD exported 57,177t, followed by VIC (19,463t), NSW (17,360t), TAS (3239t), WA (3131t) and SA (1981t). The US was the biggest market for Australian beef for the third consecutive month after importing 25,760t, up 8 per cent from July. “This is the highest monthly beef exports to the USA have been since June 2019 and compared to the five-year average (for August), trend volumes are sitting 42 per cent above,” Mr Dalgleish said. “That’s a big turnaround given much of the last few years saw Aussie beef export volumes to the USA running around 45 per cent under the average seasonal trend.” Japan retained the second-top spot after importing 16,868t of Australian beef — 5 per cent lower than in July, and 26 per cent below the five-year average for August. Demand remained strong from South Korea, which imported 17,304t — up 2 per cent from July and 16 per cent above the five-year average. China also recorded a 2 per cent gain after importing 17,114t, which was about 6 per cent above the monthly five-year-average.