Australian lamb slaughter higher for the year-to-date

09 June 2016

Australian lamb slaughter in April lowered marginally (1%) year-on-year, at 1.96 million head, due to fewer lambs processed in Queensland, Victoria and SA for the month (ABS).

For the year-to-date (January to April), however, lamb slaughter increased 2% on the corresponding period last year – with almost 7.85 million head processed.

For the year-to-date, compared to last year, lamb slaughter in:

  • Victoria was steady – at 3.4 million head
  • NSW was steady – at 1.68 million head
  • SA increased 2% – at 1.39 million head
  • WA increased 13% – at 984,138 head
  • Tasmania increased 5% – at 250,643 head
  • Queensland increased 5% – at 108,068 head

For the first four months of 2016, national lamb production was also 2% higher year-on-year, at 178,763 tonnes cwt. Prior to the new season inflow of lambs in spring, supplies are expected to tighten over the winter months, in line with a typical season.

Australia’s major lamb export competitor, New Zealand (NZ), recorded a 5% increase in lamb slaughter in April – with close to 2.38 million head processed (Statistics NZ). April is one of NZ’s peak lamb processing months (typically between January and April), as the production season there runs from October to September.

As illustrated in the figure below, NZ lamb supplies are also anticipated to tighten over the coming months, with the seasonal slowdown for lamb production.

Aus & NZ Lamb slaughter June-16


 To read further on the latest NZ lamb production and slaughter statistics, click here.


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