Domestic Lamb

Sheep meat, goat and beef production falling as chicken and pork lifts

Sheep Central August 16, 2017

AUSTRALIAN sheep, goat meat and beef production has collectively declined for the second consecutive year, while chicken and pork volumes have grown in the past 12 months, Meat and Livestock Australia has reported.

MLA said supported by lower grain prices, pork production increased 5 percent year-on-year in 2016-17, to 397,000 tonnes cwt, although less than the 420,000 tonnes produced in 2002-03. Chicken production increased 3pc to a record 1.23 million tonnes, marking the ninth consecutive year of back-to-back production growth.

MLA said production of Australian red meat — beef, sheep meat and goat meat — and production declined for the second consecutive year, after peaking at an unprecedented 3.41 million tonnes in 2014-15. With evidence of the sheep flock and cattle herd in rebuild phase, both species registered a contraction in production, MLA said.

However, red meat still dominated the protein landscape in 2016-17, accounting for 63pc of total Australian meat production, but well below the 87pc recorded during the height of herd liquidation in 1977-78.

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In 2016-17:

  • Beef production declined 12pc year-on-year to 2.05 million tonnes;
  • Veal production was back 27pc at 20,100 tonnes;
  • Mutton production fell 17pc to 163,000 tonnes;
  • Lamb was back just 2pc at 506,000 tonnes;
  • Goat meat declined just 1pc to 33,000 tonnes.

MLA said looking ahead, red meat is expected to recover from the current trough. Beef and sheep meat production in the 2018 calendar year are both expected to increase 3pc year-on-year.

Click on the links below for the latest release of MLA’s cattle and sheep industry projections:


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