The number of lambs slaughtered in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia increased, but fell in Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland.
MLA said with the seasonal peak supply period approaching, lamb slaughter nationally lifted 2 percent year-on-year to 1.88 million head (ABS) in August, the final month of winter.
Very dry conditions across Victoria during the month were a likely contributing factor to a 2pc decline in the national average lamb carcase weight during August to 21.59kg, as Victoria’s production accounted for nearly half of the national production total for the month, MLA said.
Lower carcase weight offset high slaughter figure
MLA said the slightly lower average Australian lamb carcase weight up to August offset the higher slaughter and the subsequent amount of lamb produced changed very little on year-ago levels, to 40,552 tonnes cwt.
The total number of lambs processed in Australia in the year-to-August was 14.98 million head – 4pc higher than last year and 15pc higher than the five-year average for the eight month period.
As a result, the tonnage of lamb produced over the same time was 16pc higher than the long-term average, totalling 288,272 tonnes cwt so far this year.
Victoria leads state lamb slaughter tallies
Lamb slaughter in Victoria was up 5pc year-on-year to 6.8 million head, and production totalled 147,340 tonnes cwt, up 6pc.
NSW processed 1pc more lambs or 3.4 million and production totalled 80,344 tonnes cwt, up 4pc.
SA lamb slaughter was back 12pc to 2.1 million head and production was down 10pc to 50,792 tonnes cwt.
WA processed 1.6 million lambs, a 20pc increase, lifting production 21pc to 34,596 tonnes cwt.
In Tasmania, lamb slaughter fell 3pc to 501,914 head, pulling production back 5pc to 10,111 tonnes cwt.
Queensland slaughtered 30pc fewer lambs at 185,796 head and production fell 22pc to 4442 tonnes cwt.
Sources: MLA, ABS