Low rainfall leads to slaughter increase for eastern states

04 April 2018

Drier than average seasonal conditions across south-east Australia has seen eastern states lamb and sheep slaughter increase in the first half of 2018.

March quarter rainfall


Eastern states lamb slaughter for the year-to-date (23 March latest data available), as reported by MLA, was 2% higher than the same period last year.

Lamb processing levels in NSW and Victoria, both of which have experienced below-average rainfall for the last three months, are tracking 6% and 14% above year-ago levels, respectively. A major plant’s temporary closure in SA has added to this, with Victoria and NSW absorbing the lost capacity. SA’s lamb kill for the year-to-date is down 27% year-on-year, while processing in Tasmania has come back 36% from the corresponding period in 2017.


Sheep slaughter across the eastern states has increased to a greater extent year-on-year – up 12% for the year-to-date. NSW has been the predominant state driving these numbers, with sheep slaughter 39% higher than the same period last year, while processing in Victoria is up 5% on year-ago levels. Similar to lamb, the SA sheep kill for the year so far is down 27%, and Tasmania is tracking 8% lower year-on-year.

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