After some of the lowest rates seen at the start of 2022, lamb slaughter continues to rally on the back of August's record peak as processors sift through the backlog of old season lambs.
In fact, slaughter numbers in August were at some of the strongest levels for the year to date, with over 26,000 tonnes shipped weight (swt), translating into record exports for this time of the year.
And the rally has continued into the spring, with slaughter levels hitting unseasonable highs.
According to Meat and Livestock Australia's market information analyst Jenny Limm, processors will now turn to work through the fresh cohort of new season season lambs
"Lamb slaughter volumes are 13 per cent above year-ago levels," Ms Lim said.
"This comes as new season lambs hit the market and processors work through the large supply of lambs available.
"Sheep slaughter also continues to increase moving into spring, reaching 111,370 head this week to crack the 100,000 head mark for the second week in a row."
According to Ms Limn, kill numbers next week could be reduced with the additional public holiday on Thursday and the grand final public holiday in Victoria this week.
"Some processing plants are carrying out maintenance which could also restrict capacity," she said.
Analysis from the latest Rural Bank commodity insights predicted sheep and lamb slaughter will continue to increase moving through spring.
According to the report, the volume of lamb exports in August was up four per cent from July and 12.8pc higher than a year earlier.
Strong demand was led by the US and exports to China have steadily grown of late with volumes in August up 42pc from March.
Mutton exports also increased in August with a 45pc rise from July with the growth led by China who typically import the majority of their mutton in the second half of the year.
Meanwhile, goat slaughter has been rising, averaging more than 32,000 head a week for the past five weeks.
Compared to the same weeks in 2021 the average was just above 21,000 head, while in 2020 it was about 12,500 head.
Year-to-date goat slaughter is 32pc higher than the previous year, which equates to about an extra 30,000 goats killed.
End of the financial year Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data shows goat slaughter was up 52pc 2021-22.
In terms of goat meat production, it was up slightly less, due to lower carcass weights, but still rose 47pc to 24,091 tonnes.
Production was up with all states except Tasmania by at least 41pc, with Western Australia's production rising 3538pc year-on-year.
Goat export volumes were up 24pc for 2021-22, with the US taking 64pc of the market share, and South Korea increasing their import volumes of Australian goat by 51pc.