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Exports resume to farmers relief
Picture: Kate Pollard Yenny Firdaus from Jakarta, front, shows WAMMCO lamb to Influential Women’s tour group members Gemma Lomax, Helen Campion and Jane De Long.

Great Southern sheep producers will breathe a sigh of relief as live sheep exports to the Middle East resume this week.

Export licences were halted by Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry while conflicting health reports about a shipment of sheep sent to Bahrain then Pakistan were investigated.

Since January, the price for lambs has fallen from $143 per head to $80 last week.

Processors say the fall is because lamb became too expensive for export markets and consumers.

With lower prices, industry hope demand from export markets will return and producers are being encouraged to hold tight until prices rise again in line with demand.

Two weeks ago, northern beef producers on a trip to Indonesia were able to see first-hand, the large size of a Great Southern lamb roasts.

The group, called Influential Women, visited a local business which sold Australian lamb online to expatriates.

Visitors saw first-hand how Australian cattle are treated through the supply chain, including at abattoirs and feedlots.

WAMMCO marketing manager Damien Giumelli said it had regular consignments to market.

“We have a strong relationship where they take a full range of lamb cuts,” he said.

“Our proximity to market is helpful because we have a short sailing time and Halal is also very important.”

MLA figures show that in 2010, 14 per cent of Australia beef exports and 23 per cent of total lamb exports were shipped to Indonesia.

Yenny Firdaus from Jakarta shows WAMMCO lamb to Influential Women’s tour group members Gemma Lomax, Helen Campion and Jane De Long.