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Australia’s mutton slaughter hit a five-year low in July, but is recovering

Sheep Central September 19, 2016
NSW DPI staff will be checking for tags.

NSW DPI staff will be checking for tags.

AUSTRALIA’s mutton kill declined to a level not seen 2011 in July this year, but is showing signs of recovery into spring.

Meat & Livestock Australia said mutton slaughter during July totalled 301,992 head – 41 percent less than was processed at the same time last year and similar to levels not reported since July 2011 by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The seasonal decline in slaughter numbers was accentuated this year – following high levels of drought induced turn-off in recent years, coupled with above average winter rainfall across most of the eastern seaboard, MLA said.

Mutton production declined in line with slaughter, easing 41pc from year-ago levels to 7235 tonnes cwt. However, production levels were assisted by heavier carcases, which averaged 24kg during July, 1kg above the five-year average.

The 2016 year-to-July slaughter consignments were 12pc lower year-on-year. However, production decreased 10pc to 94,067 tonnes cwt over the same period.

MLA said slaughter declined across the major sheep-producing states in July:

Victoria processed 157,395 head of mutton, 40pc fewer year-on-year

New South Wales slaughter eased 33pc to 79,425 head

Slaughter in South Australia dropped 34pc to 34,253 head

Western Australia slaughtered 31pc fewer sheep year-on-year, processing 27,598 head.

However, MLA reported eastern states slaughter for August and the early stages of September suggest the slaughter throughput has reached its seasonal low point and has started to lift coming into spring.

Source: MLA.


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