Small gains

Livestock | 15th March 2024 | By Matt Dalgleish

Market Morsel

As Australia’s only real competitor in the sheep meat trade we keep a close eye on what is happening with supply across the ditch. Beef & Lamb NZ have issued a mid-year update to their sheep industry projections for 2023/24 and it shows some increases to the overall flock and lamb crop for the first time in several years.

The Kiwi flock is expected to increase 0.8% in the FY2023/24 season to 25.5 million head, which is the first time an increase to the total flock has been seen since 2012.

Similarly, the lamb crop is expected to increase by 0.5% from 21.2 million head to 21.3 million head. The last time the lamb crop saw an increase over the season was the 3.4% increase seen back in FY2015/16.

However, breeding ewe numbers remain in decline and are expected to ease by 1.3% over the 2023/24 season to 15.7 million head, down from 15.9 million head.

Export flows of both mutton and lamb are forecast to climb marginally by 0.8% to reach a total of 373,000 tonnes. Lamb export volumes are up from 289,000 last financial year to 295,000 tonnes this year. In contrast, mutton exports are forecast to decline from 81,000 tonnes to 78,000 tonnes.


  • New Zealand
  • Sheep
  • Lamb
  • Supply and Demand