Sheep Live Export

Page last updated: Monday, 18 February 2019 - 7:35am

The live export trade of sheep from Western Australia is worth $210 million (2017). The industry is undergoing significant change and industry and government are working cooperatively to improve transport, handling and animal welfare outcomes. Information on the industry can be found here.

DPIRD information on the latest developments

The industry

1.7 million sheep were exported live to eight countries, mostly in the Middle East in 2017. The value of live sheep exports was A$203 million in 2016/17. The three largest markets by volume were Kuwait (34%), Qatar (33%) and Jordan (10%).

Top 5 live sheep markets for WA by volume
Figure 2 Live sheep exports from WA by destination (Based on ABS data DPIRD analysis)

In 2018, 1.2 million sheep were exported from Australia (provisional figures).  The value of these exports was A$158 million.  This is a reduction from 2017 of over 35% due to the industry imposed pause from June to November 2018.

WA makes up the majority of live sheep exported from Australia and the proportion of Australia’s live export sheep sourced from WA has increased over the last five years. In 2007 WA accounted for 73% of Australian live sheep exports, but this increased to 93% in 2016 as exports from other parts of Australia declined more rapidly than those from WA. In 2017 WA accounted for 86%.

The volume of WA and Australian live sheep exports has trended downawards over the last ten years. Australian exports fell from 4.2 million to 1.95 million. WA fell from 3.2 million to 1.7 million.
Figure 1 WA and Australian live sheep exports by volume (Based on ABS data, DPIRD analysis)

Read some frequently asked questions on the industry here

Read more on the value and quantity of live sheep exports in Sheep Notes