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August lamb turn-off and mutton weights hit new highs

Terry Sim, October 10, 2014

lambs saleyards Ballarat 1Australia’s lamb production hit another high at the end of August with the monthly throughput at 40,459 tonnes being seven percent up on the level a year ago.

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released by MLA this week, the August result has boosted the year-to-date – January to August – production to 316,985 tonnes, representing 1.8 million lambs, a three percent increase on throughput during the same period in 2013.

NSW drove slaughter increase

MLS said the August lamb slaughter increase was driven largely by a 16pc year-on-year increase in NSW for the month, to 470,086 head. Slaughter levels lifted three percent in Victoria to 847,924 head and by six percent in SA to 274,446 head. In WA, there was a 30pc decline in lamb slaughter during the month to 142,657 head.

Sustained high lamb slaughter throughout the winter months continued to reinforce the likelihood of supplies tightening into next year, MLA said.

Mutton carcase increase offsets 4pc kill decline

Mutton production in August was fairly similar to year-ago levels, at 16,887 tonnes cwt, although the year-to-date total now stands eight per cent higher than the corresponding period in 2013, reaching 141,999 tonnes.

MLA said a five percent increase in the national average sheep carcase weight over the same period, to 24.4kg cwt, offset a four percent decline in slaughter numbers in August to 691,185 head.

Sources: ABS, MLA

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