Australia

Aussie shepherds to increase demand for ewes

Livestock

More than a third of producers considering increasing their ewe flock are planning to purchase more ewes than normal.

Posted on Dec 22 ,11:18

Aussie shepherds to increase demand for ewes

Meat and Livestock Australia has published the October results of the MLA and AWI Wool and Sheepmeat Survey. The survey, which is run three times a year, had 1,678 participants across 2,495 different properties.
The October results estimate there are 40.7 million breeding ewes in Australia, with 30,449,794 (75%) of these being Merinos. They also estimate that as of October 2020, there were 25.9 million lambs on hand, with purebred Merino lambs accounting for 56% of these at 14.5 million. According to the survey, 42% of producers intend to increase their ewe flock in the next 12 months. Also, 34% of producers intending to increase ewe numbers are planning to purchase more ewes than normal, which will support the prices for breeding ewes in 2021. More than 10 million head of lambs are expected to be sold between November and 28 February 2021, of which 3.015 million are destined for pure meat sales (30% of lamb sales), 2.552 million are for first cross-sales (25% of lamb sales), and 2.457 million represents Merino sales (24% of lamb sales).
This year, the Australian national flock was estimated at 63.7 million heads, the lowest level in 116 years.

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