Market Morsel: A time to kill
East coast processing capacity is on the rise, which is reflected in the increase to weekly lamb and sheep slaughter volumes. The week ending 14th October saw the combined weekly sheep and lamb processing volumes hit a record level for 2022 at 467,891 head, up 11% from the week prior.
In a recent Agwatchers podcast with Australian Meat Industry Council CEO, Patrick Hutchinson, it was mentioned that processor capacity was running at around 70-75%, up from the 50-60% seen during winter. The timing of the increased processor capacity couldn’t be more opportune, particularly for lamb processing as the spring flush numbers of new seasons lambs are beginning to show.
East coast lamb yarding levels swelled to 209,667 head, for the week ending 14th October which is the highest weekly yarding levels seen so far this year and was a 67% increase on the previous week. Victorian lamb yardings are beginning to lift too and that’s where the big spring volumes present themselves.
Usually by mid October Victorian lamb yarding levels are around 60,000 to 70,000 head. By mid November the lambs presented at the Victorian saleyards start reaching over 100,000 head, so ample processor capacity is crucial at this time, as around 50% of the national lamb slaughter on any given year are processed in Victoria.