AUSTRALIAN WOOL INNOVATION

2017 SHEEP MARKET UPDATE

With lamb prices on the rise and wool hitting its straps once more, there has never been a better time to invest in the quality of your sheep flock.

The market for lamb is expected to remain strong throughout 2017, with the low Aussie dollar attracting foreign buyers who are benefitting from low AUD value relative to the rest of the world. Demand from our key export markets: US, China and the Middle East continues to increase, and is likely to remain strong over 2017 (MLA, 2016).

The long-term market outlook for lamb looks promising: with domestic demand remaining strong despite higher prices and our major international competitor (NZ) unlikely to increase production to keep pace with growing international demand for quality lamb (MLA, Dec, 2017).

Meat and Livestock Australia market information manager Ben Thomas said lamb and wool prices are creating incentives for producers to retain lambs to produce both wool and meat. This means there has never been a better time to invest in the quality of your flock (The Land, 2017).

Haddon Rig specialises in consistently producing durable, fertile, large-framed Merinos with exceptional wool. Our mixed-age ewes averaged 8kgs wool/head at general shearing in December and averaged a 3-score condition whilst fleece wool sold from our AI ewes in December 2016 was exceptional: 20 microns, 99.4 CF, 74.7% yield, staple length 107mm with a price of 1139 cents/kg which meant over $2220/bale. At these prices, with our ewes cutting over 8kgs/head, each ewe averaged $72.60 return per head.

At weaning time, ram lambs weighed up to 52kgs and averaged just under 40kgs in total. With these growth weights and early maturity, we’ve really been able to take advantage of the strong wether lamb market ($5.50/kg). With returns like these, we are passionate about helping our clients achieve similar returns.

Andy Maclean says, ‘High wool prices and increased demand for lamb exports means that breeders should be aiming for high-yielding, well-performing and fertile sheep that can maintain condition in tough weather.’ Haddon Rig is in an excellent position to help you improve the quality of your flock, to ensure you achieve higher yields, higher lambing rates and greater returns for your sheep business.