MLA expects another record lamb and mutton turn-off

Sheep Central, August 18, 2023

Another year of record Australian lamb and mutton production is expected.

AUSTRALIA is heading into another potentially record year of lamb and mutton production, according to Meat & Livestock Australia.

MLA said today Australia produced the most lamb on record in calendar year 2022, including 149,385 tonnes in the past three months – the highest production for a quarter.

Sheep slaughter for the quarter was 2,550,700 – the highest since December 2019.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released its quarterly statistics on livestock slaughtered and meat production, highlighting record lamb production and growth in mutton production across the board so far this year.

MLA said for the first six months of 2023, lamb producers are tracking 7.7pc above year-on-year levels or 20,000 tonnes.

MLA market information manager Stephen Bignell said this indicates another strong, potentially record-breaking year for Australian lamb producers.

“Following a significant flock rebuild over the last few years, we have seen significant lamb slaughter across the nation in the first half of this year.

“Over 11.5 million lambs were processed to June 2023 which is the second highest start to a year since 2018 when over 12 million lambs were slaughtered,” he said.

“This is an extra 1.24 million lambs slaughtered when compared to 2022, an uplift of 12pc year-on-year.”

MLA said this quarter lamb production records were broken, with 149,385 tonnes being produced in Australia, 4pc more than the previous record set in June 2018.

Mutton production is also seeing higher levels than previously recorded. Sheep slaughter for the quarter was 2,550,700 head – the highest in nearly four years, MLA said.

Mr Bignell said nearly five million sheep have been processed so far this year.

“This is an extra 2,024,800 compared to the same point in 2022, equating to an additional mutton throughput of 68pc year-on-year.

“Victoria is contributing the most to the big jump in mutton slaughter, with Victorian processors working through 1 million sheep so far this year,” he said.

Gross value of sheep and lambs increased 1.9pc

Lamb and sheep proceeds were above Q1 2023 levels and the same as March 2021. The gross value of sheep and lambs slaughtered increased 1.9pc to $1.2 billion.

In financial year 2023, lamb and sheep farmers made $4.8b for the sale of animals to processors.

Source – MLA.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Sheep Central's news headlines emailed to you -