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Dry Conditions Drive High Lamb Slaughter

17 April 2015
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - Australian lamb slaughter in February reached the highest level for the month on record, reaching 1.9 million head, after a drier than expected start to the year.

Meat and Livestock Australia said this was five per cent higher than the same time last year and 18 per cent above the five-year average, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Despite the dry conditions throughout February, producers’ were still able to consistently finish lambs, albeit in some cases with grain assistance, which has lessened the impact of deteriorating feed conditions on lamb carcases.

As a result, the average lamb carcase weight during February increased four per cent on year-ago levels, to 22.87kg/head. Australian lamb production consequently lifted nine per cent on the same time last year, to 43,779 tonnes cwt – up 22 per cent on the five-year monthly average.

While lamb slaughter in the first couple of months has been high, it is expected that supplies will progressively tighten over the coming months – particularly as throughout the second half of 2014, slaughter was sustained at high levels.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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