Strong export demand and tightened supply has kept lamb and sheep meat prices at record highs.
Rural Bank’s Australian Lamb and Sheep Meat Annual Review 2018 found supply tightened in June, which caused the Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator to reach a record high of 712 cents per kilogram.
Prices are expected to remain stable through winter, and ease in spring and summer.
Lamb and mutton export prices between January and April 2018 increased by 5 and 3.5 per cent respectively, due to increased slaughter rates and higher export volumes.
Strong demand from the US, China and the Middle East continues to support higher prices, with the Chinese export market valued at $265 million.
Rural Bank Dales and Distribution general manager Simon Dundon said the 12-month outlook for sheep producers looked positive.
“The Australian sheep industry has had an extraordinary run over the last few years and with continued and robust global demand supporting prices, we expect to see increased opportunity for our sheep meat producers,” Mr Dundon said.
“Drier conditions in the first six months of 2018 pushed slaughter rates higher and placed downward pressure on prices, but with demand remaining strong, prices have only decreased slightly under the weight of this extra supply.
“Producers will be hoping for better seasonal conditions in the second half of 2018 to allow for flock expansion, and the opportunity to capitalise on the ongoing increased demand from export markets.”
Read the full Australian Lamb and Sheep Meat Annual Review at www.ruralbank.com.au/sheep