MODERATELY higher lamb prices have been sustained over the past year even though supply has increased, with slaughter rates elevated for much of 2014 and into early 2015, especially from Victoria.
National Australia Bank Agribusiness head of Victoria and Tasmania Neil Findlay said NAB maintains the current higher slaughter levels, underpinned by increasing turn off rates as a proportion of total flock, are not sustainable.
“Recent data lends support to this view, as slaughter has begun to contract faster than normal in Victoria, ahead of the spring peak, and this will help provide support to prices over the remainder of the financial year,” Mr Findlay said.
“We are still around a month away from the major spring flush of lambs and we think nationally supply will be slightly weaker, with a one per cent decline in production forecast for 2015-16.”
High prices are seen as the primary drivers of a continuing fall in domestic lamb consumption.
However, over the past five years exports of processed lamb have been generally on the rise, and most of the additional lamb supply has been directed toward these.