A dry start to 2018 across most of Australia has limited many producers' ability to expand flocks, despite both wool and sheepmeat prices remaining near historical highs. The lack of rainfall has led to increased lamb and mutton slaughter across the country which, combined with a fairly neutral rainfall outlook, has led to 2018 slaughter forecasts being revised higher.
Despite increased slaughter, the Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator (ESTLI) remains above the five-year average, albeit below the levels seen at the beginning of the year. Looking forward to supply and prices for the remainder of the year, winter rainfall will be pivotal. Parts of Victoria received some decent falls in late autumn, while conditions across key growing regions elsewhere continue to deteriorate – particularly in NSW.
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