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    Wimmera Regional Livestock Centre manager Paul Christopher inspects work on a new roof over the centre.AGLIFE COVER

AgLife: Global sheep export demand firm

Global demand for Australian sheep meat is rising as the national flock continues to recover and grow to 76 million head.

The national flock was at its lowest in more than 100 years in 2020.

Meat and Livestock Association, MLA, data shows Australia exported 110,775 tonnes of lamb and 57,655 tonnes of mutton between January and May. The exports are five percent and seven percent more, respectively, than the same period in 2021.

Senior market information analyst Ripley Atkinson said export growth in emerging markets such as Malaysia, Japan and South Korea demonstrated the diverse range of countries seeking Australian lamb and mutton.

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“On top of booming markets in Asia, the United States has quickly emerged as Australia’s number-one destination for lamb exports,” he said.

The United States imported 35,053 tonnes of sheep meat from January to May, which was three percent higher than the same point in 2021.

“With sheep meat production in plentiful volumes and international demand for Australian product remaining robust across key established and emerging markets, the outlook for the Australian sheep meat industry is bright,” Mr Atkinson said.

MLA’s latest Sheep Industry Projections update showed favourable seasonal conditions had supported above-average lambing percentages and a larger breeding ewe flock.

Above average rain for most sheep regions of New South Wales and Victoria will see the national flock rise by 5.1 million in 2022.

Lamb production is forecast to reach record levels at 549,000 tonnes, with higher carcase weights driving the increase. Average lamb carcase weights are forecast to remain firm reaching 24.9kg a head in 2022.

MLA has estimated carcase weights will decrease by two percent to 24.6kg a head by 2023, with seasonal conditions expected to ease and return to the long-term average.

However, the implementation of improved genetics and on-farm production management will likely ensure that 2023 carcase weights remain historically high.

“The country is well positioned to continue supplying high-quality protein to both the domestic and international markets,” Mr Atkinson said. 

The entire July 27, 2022 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire July 27, 2022 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!