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Sheepmeat Council : Sheepmeat 2015 2016
6 SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA ANNUAL MUSTER 2015-16 Serious or severe rainfall deficiencies were experienced by most of south-west Western Australia, south-eastern South Australia, much of central and western Victoria and Tasmania. Following on from dry seasonal conditions in spring of 2014, the low rainfall recorded in 2015 has meant lower-layer level soil moisture (10-100 cm) being very much below average in all the above mentioned regions at the end of 2015. National lamb saleyard indicators performed well in 2015, compared with the previous year, across all states and categories, except in WA where most categories averaged lower year-on-year. Restocker lambs (0-18kg cwt) made the most gain in NSW, up 18% year-on-year. Restockers in Victoria and South Australia increased on average around 13%, Tasmania averaged 5% up and the price eased slightly in WA. The average price for restocker lambs ranged from 464c/ kg cwt in WA to 552c/ kg cwt in SA with the other states all averaging above 520c/ kg cwt. Trade lambs (18-22 kg cwt) were dearest, on average in Tasmania during 2015 at 538c/ kg cwt (up 7%) closely followed by NSW, with an average of 536c/ kg cwt for the year – 10%, dearer than 2014 levels. Victorian and SA trade lambs averaged 525c/ kg cwt (up 11%) and 509c/ kg cwt (up 11%) in 2015, respectively. In WA, trade lambs eased slightly (3c) from 2014, to average 489c/kg cwt. As would be expected given the seasonal conditions in 2015, heavy lambs (22-30 kg cwt) were at a premium in NSW, averaging 537c/kg in 2015 – 14%, or 67c/kg, higher than 2014, and a margin of 14c-28c/kg dearer than the rest of the eastern states. In WA, however, heavy lambs averaged 3%, or 13c/kg, below previous year levels, at 472c/kg cwt. The total number of lambs yarded nationally during 2015 at saleyards reported by MLA was 5% lower year-on-year and this was in line with the eastern states lamb slaughter which was down on average 2% over the same period. Queensland reported a 22% drop in lambs processed compared to 2014. Mutton slaughter was down 16% nationally in 2015 compared to 2014. As most mutton is exported, a reported 22% decrease in export of mutton year-on-year came as no surprise, with the greatest decrease in mutton exports being to Greater China (46%). Mutton prices increased 10% on average year-on-year nationally to 343c/ kg cwt. 2014-15 Market and Seasonal Report Prices increased in all states (up to 13% in NSW to 358c/ kg cwt) with the exception being WA which recorded an average price reduction of 4% year-on-year to 276c/kg cwt. Australia exported an estimated 56% of total lamb production in 2015 which was down slightly year-on-year. Greater China, Japan and the EU had the largest decrease in exports however increases in exports were reported to the South East Asia – ASEAN region, Middle East and North America. Seasonal conditions in 2015 were challenging in most sheep production areas with the exception of New South Wales.