Dry June drives turnoff

04 July 2017

June saw lower than average rainfall across many of the major sheep and cattle supply regions. In fact, parts of central and northern Victoria, southern NSW, southern WA and Tasmania experienced the lowest June rainfall on record (Bureau of Meteorology). 

The dry start to winter, and unlikely prospects of rain on the way, saw eastern states slaughter numbers rise from May across most categories – at a time when slaughter levels typically begin their seasonal decline.

For June, the average weekly eastern states lamb kill was just over 342,000 head, a 7% increase year-on-year. Sheep slaughter saw an even greater increase of 25% from June last year, averaging almost 313,000 head per week during the month. Eastern states goat slaughter averaged just under 18,000 head per week in June, an increase of 81% year-on-year.

Cattle slaughter averaged just under 133,000 head per week in June, down 1% on last year.

The deteriorating seasonal conditions and higher turnoff contributed to both the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) and the Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator (ESTLI) dipping below year-ago levels towards the end of June. The EYCI averaged 639¢/kg cwt for the month, up 19.5¢ on year-ago levels, while the ESTLI averaged 658¢ for the month, up 44¢ on year ago levels. 

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