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As Australia today (Jan. 26) celebrates its National Day you may be forgiven in thinking that Australia's most successful exports are their movie stars like Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman and pop icon Kylie Minogue but its greatest export is a culinary one – the quality and quantity of its delicious halal red meat.

Australian beef and lamb exports to the Middle East and North Africa region reached record highs with a mouth watering 61,793 tons of beef exported – a staggering 89 percent increase in 2013.  A positive year for Australian lamb exports saw a yearly volume of 61,250 metric tons, an increase of 12 percent also a record annual export to the region.  Total combined red meat volumes reached just under 185,000 metric tons including mutton and offal items.

Driving the overall growth for beef was strong demand from Saudi Arabia, with Australian exports to Saudi reaching 31,126 tons, an incredible year-on-year growth of 494 percent. Premium product is high on the menu across the Middle East with a marked increase in demand for high quality grass fed, grain fed and wagyu beef.

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