Weekly Product Updates

W39: Mutton & Lamb Update

Published Oct 6, 2023

In W39 in the lamb and mutton landscape, Australian lamb and sheep yardings surged by 26.95 thousand heads week-on-week (WoW) to 256.8 thousand heads, driven by the inclusion of fortnightly sales that were absent in W38. This influx led to a mixed performance in lamb and sheep indicators for the week. The mutton indicator initially dropped below USD 0.64 per kilogram (kg) carcass weight (cwt) on September 26 and 27 but rebounded strongly on September 28 to close at USD 0.68/kg cwt, a USD 0.013 WoW increase. Conversely, the light lamb indicator declined by USD 0.16 WoW to USD 1.78/kg cwt.

Price trends varied widely among indicators in Australia over the past month, with heavy and trade lambs holding steady, experiencing only marginal declines of USD 0.012 and USD 0.00064, respectively. In contrast, Merino lamb and mutton indicators witnessed significant drops. The Merino lamb indicator dropped by USD 0.39, while the mutton indicator plummeted by USD 0.53 in W39, a 43% month-on-month (MoM) decrease in value.

Australian sheep slaughter decreased by 1.67 thousand heads to 160.17 thousand heads in W39. On the contrary, Australian lamb kills saw a substantial rise of 28.08 thousand heads to 447.02 thousand heads, the highest weekly volume since 2016. This surge was primarily attributed to a significant increase in Victorian slaughter, reaching 229.04 thousand heads, the highest weekly Victorian lamb kill on record.

Spain has regained its status as free from sheep and goat pox after the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food lifted the additional restriction zone due to the absence of outbreaks since May-23. The first case was identified on September 19, 2022, with 30 confirmed outbreaks until May 17, primarily in Andalusia and Castilla-La Mancha. The compensation costs for animal slaughter, farm cleaning, lab tests, and veterinary personnel hiring amounted to USD 8.46 million, partly funded by the Ministry and autonomous communities. Additional funding for livestock replacement, co-financed with autonomous communities, may reach USD 2.12 million, depending on pending requests. Sheep and goat pox does not affect humans, but its control necessitates the mandatory slaughter of infected animals and movement restrictions around outbreak areas, following community regulations.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) reports that 58.85 thousand sheep were processed in Ireland in W38, an 11% year-on-year (YoY) decline. Spring lambs totaled 48.48 thousand heads, a decrease of 7% YoY, accounting for a substantial 82.38% of throughput. The year-to-date (YTD) sheep processing volumes reached 2.06 million heads, a 1% YoY decrease. Hogget processing accounted for the majority of YTD kills at 980.49 thousand heads (+9% YoY), followed by 855 thousand spring lambs (-8% YoY), while ewes and rams amounted to 228.37 thousand heads (-13% YoY), and 134 light lambs (+18 YoY).

Lastly, the State Customs Service reports that Ukraine’s lamb and goat meat exports reached 87 metric tons (mt), valued at USD 364 thousand, from Jan-23 to Aug-23. This indicates an 11% YoY decrease in volume and a significant drop of 30.7% YoY in value. Ukrainian lamb and goat shipments amounted to 21.7 mt, worth USD 71.2 thousand in Aug-23. Ukrainian exports were primarily destined for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at 97.5%, Turkey at 0.6%, and the Marshall Islands at 0.3% in the first eight months of 2023. 

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