Year-to-date lamb production on par with 2015

15 November 2016

In September, Australian lamb production was just shy of 39,700 tonnes carcase weight (cwt), down 6% from the same time last year, with lamb slaughter 7% lower year-on-year, to just over 1.8 million head for the month (Australian Bureau of Statistics).

For the year-to-date (January to September), however, lamb production was similar to the corresponding period last year, at 375,656 tonnes cwt, while the number of lambs processed was down 1% on year-ago levels, at 16.7 million head. The slight decline in lamb slaughter was offset by a 1% lift in the average lamb carcase weight for the January to September period, to 22.42kg/head – reflective of the improved seasonal conditions across a number of key producing regions this year.

For the January to September period, compared to the same time last year, lamb production in:

  • Victoria declined 3%, to 161,304 tonnes cwt
  • NSW increased 1%, to 91,701 tonnes cwt
  • SA decreased 4%, to 63,132 tonnes cwt
  • WA increased 19%, to 46,663 tonnes cwt
  • Tasmania declined 11%, to 9,851 tonnes cwt
  • Queensland decreased 41%, to 3,108 tonnes cwt   

Australian mutton production and slaughter so far this year have declined 12% and 14% year-on-year, respectively, to 123,624 tonnes cwt and 5.2 million head – predominantly driven by declines in Victoria (down 19%, to 44,993 tonnes cwt) and NSW (down 14%, to 28,091 tonnes cwt). Tighter sheep availability across the eastern states continues to support prices in the physical market. In contrast, mutton production in WA was up 8% for the year-to-September, to 21,818 tonnes cwt, while SA lifted 1%, to 22,715 tonnes cwt. 

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