Revision time

Livestock | 29th February 2024 | By Matt Dalgleish

Market Morsel

Meat & Livestock Australia have released their sheep industry projections report for the 2024 season and there have been some big revisions to forecasts from their mid-year report from 2023.

The MLA update from July 2023 had the flock in 2024 coming in at 79.2 million head. Their updated flock forecasts have dropped 3.4% to see a flock of 76.5 million head now expected in 2024. Into 2025 there have been further downward revisions with flock numbers expected to come in 4.8% lower than the July 2023 estimates. MLA now anticipate a flock of 74 million head for 2025, down from 77.7 million head from their earlier report. In 2026 MLA expect the national flock to grow marginally to 74.5 million head.


Underpinning the sharp drop in flock numbers in 2024 and 2025 is much higher slaughter estimates now expected, compared to the earlier July 2023 MLA report.

MLA now expect lamb slaughter in 2024 to be 26.1 million head, up 16.4% from the 22.4 million head forecast back in July 2023. 2025 has also seen a strong upward revision in lamb slaughter of 12.1% from 22.2 million head to 24.9 million head. Lamb slaughter for 2026 is forecast to be 24.5 million head.

MLA have revised sheep slaughter volumes by the same percentage increase used for lamb slaughter of 16.4% for 2024 with slaughter now expected to be 10.1 million head versus the 8.7 million head from their July 2023 update.

However, sheep slaughter in 2025 is now expected to come in 5.1% lower than the July 2023 projections with a downward revision from 9.8 million head to 9.3 million head. Sheep slaughter for 2026 is forecast at 8.0 million head.


  • Sheep
  • Lamb
  • Forecast
  • Supply and Demand
  • Slaughter
  • Flock Liquidation
  • Flock Rebuild