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Australian Lamb Production Highest on Record

09 August 2013
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - The 2012-13 financial year saw the highest lamb slaughter in Australia since 1972, and was up 12 per cent year-on-year, at 21.1 million head according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Meat and Livestock Australia said that as a result, lamb production increased by nine per cent year-on-year, to 456,997 tonnes – breaking the previous fiscal year production record by seven per cent, set back in 2007-08.

Tough pasture growing conditions throughout summer and autumn, on the back of several years of flock rebuilding, led to a surge in lamb turnoff during 2012-13 and consequently boosted slaughter and production across all states.

Large parts of Victoria were affected by drought for much of the 2012-13 financial year, which explains the state’s considerable year-on-year rises in slaughter and production, of 19 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively.

Many producers turned off lambs earlier than usual due to the lack of feed, leading to an influx of store lambs in the market, particularly over the summer and autumn months.

While there were large increases in slaughter and production, the national average lamb carcase weight declined 3 per cent year-on-year, to 21.64kg/head, due to the dry conditions and increased number of store lambs slaughtered.

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