According to Tony Seabrook in The Countryman:
"because of cultural reasons, and the lack of expensive refrigerated markets, many of the customers in these countries demand fresh meat that is generally eaten immediately after slaughtering, rather than chilled or frozen boxed exports".
But a couple of paragraphs later....he says:
"They [Middle Eastern countries] have also begun importing frozen boxed meats from other countries like Ireland, Canada, and China, rather than Australia, as retaliation for our cessation of sheep shipments in the lead-up to the annual Festival of the Sacrifice, or Eid al-Adha."
OK.....so they must have live meat (especially because of refrigeration issues!!!) BUT ....they are happy to suddenly import boxed meat from anywhere....except Australia.....which has been so busy concentrating on live ex that they have taken their eye off our much more lucrative ball, the boxed meat trade (worth billions not millions).
Sure Tony, we are missing out....because we have missed the boat blindly pursuing some anachronistic trade....whilst even countries like India have swept in under our radar (think boxed buffalo meat to Indonesia, even though refrigeration was supposedly such a cited issue in 2011 and note that India have just banned live ex during the Festival of Eid on ANIMAL WELFARE GROUNDS!!!). Yep we sure are an advanced and progressive nation looking after our animals and our farmers.
As is the case with low stress livestock animal handling: good animal welfare often goes hand in hand with good economics. Time we looked outside the square.