Stock retention influences MLA’s Sheep Projections April 2017 update

11 April 2017

Meat and Livestock Australia’s (MLA) Australian Sheep Industry Projections April 2017 Update is influenced by strong producer intent to retain ewes for flock rebuilding, and retaining Merino wethers for wool production. The result is an even greater year-on-year decline in lamb slaughter and production than what was originally forecast for 2017, and a significant contraction in mutton slaughter.

The combined result is 2.7 million fewer sheep and lambs processed in 2017 which, when combined with high wool prices, suggests that Australian sheep and lamb markets are set to be the strongest ever – even with the poor April to June rainfall outlook.

Producer intent to retain stock was clearly evident in the results from the February 2017 MLA and AWI (Australian Wool Innovation) wool and sheepmeat survey. The survey, run three times a year, collects lamb and sheep numbers, along with breeding, production and shearing information. The results from this survey form the basis of MLA’s Sheep Industry Projections. The next survey will be conducted in June 2017.

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