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Lamb/mutton production expected to show strength leading up to the Spring religious holidays

Friday, March 16, 2012

In the first quarter of 2012, commercial production of lamb and mutton are forecast at 38 million pounds, 5 percent higher than the same period in 2011. Although Easter and Passover will be in early April, most of the lamb production in anticipation of these holidays will take place in March. Typically, lamb demand exhibits some seasonality and is highest ahead of these religious holidays. Commercial lamb and mutton production in March has been consistently higher than in any other month of the year. As a result, despite declining annual lamb and mutton production and relatively low production in January and February, increases are expected this month. This chart is from the March 2012 Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook, LDP-M-213.

Major sheep producing countries show decline in inventory

Friday, October 14, 2011

Though global sheep numbers have remained fairly stable since 1960, with inventories remaining close to 1.1 billion throughout the period, sheep numbers in some of the major sheep-consuming and export-oriented producing countries declined steadily. Australia and New Zealand, the largest exporters of lamb and mutton globally, have seen drastic declines, with inventories falling by 17 and 18 percent, respectively, in the last 5 years. The European Union (EU) and the United States-major consumers of high-value lamb-have seen declines in their sheep numbers as well. Much of the decline in these countries' sheep inventories stems from an underlying long-run decline in demand for raw wool and low returns for wool relative to returns from prime lamb production and other farm enterprises. This chart comes from Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook, LDP-M-207, September 16, 2011.