Sheep meat

Combined sheep and lamb slaughter surges to record level

Sheep Central, March 28, 2024

COMBINED sheep and lamb slaughter has surged week-on-week to reach 687,772 head, to reach its highest level on record, Meat & Livestock Australia reported today.

MLA senior market analyst Erin Lukey said Victoria recorded its highest individual slaughter numbers.

“Lamb slaughter reached 506,443, surpassing the half-million mark for the first time,” she said.

“However, sheep slaughter witnessed a slight decline to 181,329 compared to the previous week, yet it remains above long-term averages.”

Ms Lukey said year-to-date figures reveal that combined slaughter is tracking at about 1.4 million head, representing a substantial 22 percent increase over the 2023 slaughter numbers, with lamb slaughter up by 26pc and sheep slaughter up by 13pc.

Lamb market mostly positive

Ms Lukey said the lamb market has predominantly shown positive trends during this short week, with increases observed across all indicators except the restocker lamb indicator.

“Week-to-date, lamb yardings witnessed a notable decline of 23pc to 108,260 head, while sheep yardings fell by 30pc to 44,357 head, resulting in a combined yarding change of -25pc to 152,613 head total.”

Ms Lukey said the heavy lamb indicator performed very well over the week, being the only indicator to experience a lift in yardings week-on-week, with a 4-cent lift to 667c/kg carcase weight (cwt).

“Strong lines of finished trade and heavyweight lambs prompted price increases ranging from $5 to $25 in some New South Wales saleyards,” she said.

“However, the restocker lamb indicator witnessed a decline of 38 cents to 504c/kg cwt over the week.”

Ms Lukey said rainfall across the northern states did not extend to southern NSW, Victoria, South Australia or Western Australia, resulting in less relief in the restocker market.

The national price missed out on the lift from the relatively robust Wagga restocker market this week, though Wagga is expected to rebound with strong numbers next week, she said.

Source – MLA.


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