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Sheepmeat Council : Sheepmeat 2013
16 SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA ANNUAL MUSTER 2013 Meat & Livestock Australia The past year has been no exception, with widespread extremely dry conditions for ten months of the 2012-13 fiscal year, forcing producers to turnoff stock in record volumes. National lamb yardings in 2012-13 as reported by MLA's NLRS totalled 7.1 million head, a rise of 3% when compared to 2011- 12. Correlating with the rise in physical market supply, eastern states lamb slaughter climbed 7% from 2011-12 to 2012- 13, with two weeks of this financial year remaining. At the beginning of the 2012-13 fiscal year national average prices followed the typical winter trend, as supply tightened. However as the year progressed and good seasonal conditions failed to come to fruition, producers increased their turnoff of lambs in an effort to ease stocking pressure. More recently, prices have surged due to greater demand for stock, as improved seasonal conditions and outlook across the country made buyers look ahead at potentially tighter supplies. Despite the late push in prices, average national indicators for 2012-13 were all lower when compared with 2011-12, partly due to the exceptional prices in 2011. The national restocker lamb indicator was 30% lower in 2012-13, from the 2011-12 average of 505¢/kg cwt. Light and Merino national indicators in 2012-13 were both 27% lower than 2011-12, settling on 349¢ and 318¢/kg cwt. The national trade lamb indicator in 2012-13 was 21% lower than 2011- 12, on 379¢/kg cwt, while heavy lambs decreased 16% to 386¢/kg cwt. National over-the-hook trade lamb rates have fallen with increased supply, averaging 390¢, considerably lower than the 464¢/kg cwt average for 2011-12. Total lamb meat exports from July 2012 to May 2013 reached 183,356 tonnes swt, a 16% increase on the same period in 2011- 12. So far 2012-13 has seen a large increase in exports to most markets with the US, the Middle East and Greater China combining to increase 25% and account for 68% of Australia's lamb export volume. Similarly export value has been strong, at $823 million from July 2012 to March 2013, up 2% year-on-year. The same destinations again merged to account for 68% of export value and a 12% increase on 2012-13 has seen a large increase in exports to most markets with the US, the Middle East and Greater China combining to increase 25% and account for 68% of Australia’s lamb export volume. Stephen Edwards, MLA Business Manager -- Global Marketing; Chef Nick Finn; and SCA President Ian McColl.