In 2022, Australia’s national flock is expected to increase by 3.5 million head to 74.4 million, the greatest level in nine years. The national flock will rise by 4.9 percent, according to Meat & Livestock Australia’s 2018 Sheep Industry Projections, led by the strength of the NSW and Victorian flocks. The forecasts show a bright future for the sheep meat industry, with a good supply expected this year and industry confidence maintaining high. Due to a robust lamb cohort in 2021, lamb slaughter is predicted to exceed 21.6 million head, while sheep slaughter is expected to reach six million head.
Strong domestic production conditions will aid expansion, while weather and COVID-19-related concerns affecting processor capacity and labour availability across the supply chain will continue to be important obstacles. The outlook for sheep live exports has been described as “subdued,” with high prices and a summer export ban hampering commerce. However, projections suggest that exports will pick up in September, when Gulf exports can resume. Exports in 2022 are expected to be comparable to those in 2021, when 575,529 sheep were shipped, a 29 percent decrease from 2020 and the lowest amount since 1969, when 396,519 sheep were exported.
Stephen Bignell, MLA’s market information manager, said the Australian sheepmeat business has outperformed expectations in general. “Average national lamb carcase weights are likely to grow a modest 0.2kg to reach 25kg in 2022, given the quantity of feed across the key lamb production regions of eastern Australia during both 2020 and 2021,” he said. “Production is expected to reach new highs in the next years. “Lamb production is expected to reach an all-time high of 567,000 tonnes in 2023, resulting in larger exports.
“Overall, Australia’s sheep meat business is poised to grow, and confidence is strong across the board, notably at the production end, where seasonal conditions and historical market prices have never been more favourable.” Mr Bignell said the Australian sheep meat business was in an excellent position when the high-value Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement takes effect later in 2022. “Enhanced access to the UK market will help Australia,” he said. “This will comprise 25,000 tonnes of tariff-free sheep meat in the first year, rising to 75,000 tonnes by the tenth year. “Over the next decade, Australia is expected to emerge as the only country with the production and transportation facilities to fulfil supply challenges as well as continuous demand from markets.
Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)