Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that the national January lamb kill of 1.85 million head yielded 41,697 tonnes for the month – 5 percent higher than in the same period last year.
Meat & Livestock Australia said despite ‘above-average’ rainfall across most of New South Wales in January — parts of Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia had a drier than average month, and much of southern Australia experienced above-average mean temperatures.
On a state-by-state basis for January and compared to last year, MLA said Victorian lamb production increased 6pc to 17,929 tonnes; NSW produced 9429 tonnes, down 2pc; SA produced 7825 tonnes, up 6pc; WA produced 4613 tonnes cwt, up 20pc; Tasmania produced 1214 tonnes cwt, up 11pc, and; Queensland produced 688 tonnes, down 3pc.
MLA said although the average lamb carcase weight was steady year-on-year in January at 22.6kg/head, shifting producer objectives and genetic advances have seen lamb carcase weights increase incrementally over the past decade.
“This trend is expected to continue in 2016, with the average carcase weight for the year forecast to increase 1pc year-on-year, to 22.4kg/head.
“Looking forward, major southern producing regions are forecast to experience higher than average rainfall over the autumn period,” MLA said.
Australian lamb production is projected to decline 2pc in 2016, compared to last year, to 482,000 tonnes.
Sources: MLA, ABS.