AUSTRALIA - Australian lamb slaughter during October increased by four per cent on year-ago levels, totalling 2.16 million head according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Some new season lambs were reportedly placed on the market earlier than in 2013, Meat and Livestock Australia said.
Consequently, MLA added, national lamb production increased by six per cent, to 47,115 tonnes cwt.
New South Wales slaughter levels were four per cent higher year-on-year, at 470,540 head, with production lifting nine per cent, to 10,984 tonnes cwt. In Victoria, October slaughter was unchanged compared to the previous year, at 959,640 head, with production lifting marginally (two per cent), to 20,474 tonnes cwt.
South Australia saw a very large increase in turn-off year-on-year, up 30 per cent, to 371,850 head, and production lifted by a similar amount to hit 8,271 tonnes cwt.
In contrast, 10 per cent fewer lambs were processed compared to last October in Western Australia, totalling 248,335 head, with production 11 per cent lower at 5,144 tones cwt.
Queensland also saw lamb slaughter decline, back 10 per cent year-on-year, to 34,484 head, although with production 8 per cent lower, at 751 tonnes cwt.
For the year-to-October, lamb slaughter was at 18.6 million head, tracking two per cent above year-ago levels, while production was at 408,356 tonnes cwt, up five per cent, placing 2014 on track to be yet another high lamb slaughter and production year.
Despite the rise in lamb slaughter and production, restocker demand for light weight lines during October was also strong, particularly in New South Wales, with prices topping at an average of 500¢/kg cwt.
TheMeatSite News Desk