AUSTRALIA - During March, Australian mutton slaughter continued to slow, easing by 14 per cent compared to the same period last year, with 829,563 sheep processed during the month according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Meat and Livestock Australia said that this was largely due to a decline in slaughter in Victoria, back 18 per cent to 298,235 head, and South Australia back 29 per cent year-on-year, to 119,365 head.
Western Australia and Tasmania were also lower, easing 13 per cent and five per cent on the same period last year, to total 118,969 head and 29,141 head, respectively.
New South Wales and Queensland slaughter levels were both steady year-on-year in March, to total 216,257 head and 47,596 head, respectively.
As a result, Australian mutton production declined by nine per cent year-on-year, to 18,901 tonnes cwt.
Victoria accounted for the majority of the slowdown, being 14 per cent lower than the same time last year, at 6,469 tonnes cwt.
South Australia registered a 24 per cent decline during March (3,020 tonnes cwt), while Western Australia mutton production eased 15 per cent (2,605 tonnes cwt), and Tasmania fell by nine per cent (526 tonnes cwt). In contrast, production in New South Wales and Queensland jumped 10 per cent and 20 per cent year-on-year, to 5,270 tonnes cwt and 1,010 tonnes cwt, respectively, suggesting higher yields compared to the same period last year.
Nationally, average sheep carcase weights increased 5 per cent year-on-year, to 22.78kg/head.
TheMeatSite News Desk