News

Mutton supply tracking lower in 2016, slaughter down 21pc

Sheep Central, March 30, 2016
NSW DPI staff will be checking for tags.

Mutton supply is tracking lower this year.

MUTTON supply is tracking at its lowest level since 2012 and 2016 eastern states sheep slaughter is more than 20 percent lower than for the same period last year, Meat & Livestock Australia has reported.

For the first two and a half months of 2016 mutton supply has tracked 2pc below year-ago levels, totalling 884,436 head – the lowest start to the year since 2012.

Emphasising the tighter availability, the decline is 4pc below the five-year average of 917,444 head, MLA said.

As seasonal conditions in New South Wales have deteriorated from the wetter January, sheep turn-off at the saleyards has been higher year-on-year. Despite the very dry conditions in the south and west of the country turn-off is lower in Western Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia.

Further to this, eastern states weekly mutton slaughter so far this year is down 21pc year-on-year, at 109,298 head per week, or around 1.3 million head.

MLA said the lower saleyard throughput and slaughter levels point towards a swing back into normal mutton slaughter patterns after the high processing in 2014.

The plateau in supply has helped keep prices stable, between 260-305c/kg cwt nationally this year and averaging 286c/kg. Although this is lower than the same period last year, it is close to the five-year average of 290c/kg cwt, MLA said.

Source: MLA.

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