Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) have released their September 2020 outlook for the Australian sheep industry.
Favourable climatic factors have encouraged a move towards a flock rebuild with lamb slaughter volumes for 2020 revised down 1.5% from 20.6 million head to 20.3 million head.
The reduced lamb slaughter for 2020 is anticipated as producers retain more ewe lambs for flock restocking. The Australian flock in 2020 is now expected to be 63.8 million head, 0.5% higher than the June estimate of 63.5 million head.
Some of the reduction in lamb slaughter for the 2020 season will return as higher lamb slaughter volumes in 2021 with the estimate increased by 0.9% from 21.6 million head to 21.8 million head.
MLA are forecasting a quicker rebuild of the flock with the 2021 flock anticipated to be 1.2% higher than the June estimate reaching 66.3 million head. A further increased revision of 1.5% is anticipated in 2022 and a 0.6% upwards revision to see the flock hit 71.8 million head by 2023.