Sheep slaughter decline halts in September

19 November 2015

Following eight months of lower Australian sheep slaughter, compared to last year, September has registered the first year-on-year increase in sheep kill for 2015.

Albeit a small increase of 2,400 head on year-ago levels, amounting to 804,136 head processed in September, it is also 27% higher than the five-year average for the month (Australian Bureau of Statistics).

Tighter sheep availability throughout 2015 has led to a 16% decline in Australian sheep slaughter for the year-to-September period, compared to 2014, to 6 million head. Breaking this down by state:

  • Victoria was 2.5 million head – down 6%
  • NSW was 1.3 million head – down 25%
  • SA was 887,738 head – down 22%
  • WA was 880,196 head – down 15%
  • Queensland was 316,248 head – down 27%
  • Tasmania was 154,087 head – down 16%

Even though the national average sheep carcase weight for September was the heaviest monthly average in 2015 so far (24.95kg/head), it was 2% lower year-on-year, which saw Australian mutton production down slightly (1%) for the month, at 20,063 tonnes cwt.

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