Sheep notes


  • The value of production from the Western Australian (WA) sheep industry reached $1.5 billion (b) in 2018/19, a 4% decrease from $1.6b in 2017/18. Wool was worth $976 million (m) and sheepmeat worth $547m.
  • As of July 2019, the WA sheep flock contained 14.3m sheep and lambs, including 7.8m breeding ewes.
  • In 2018/19, total turn-off was 5.1m head, which consisted of 2.7m lambs and 1.4m adult sheep processed, 895 000 sheep exported live and 146 000 sheep sent interstate.
  • For the 2019/20 financial year (July to April), 1.05m sheep and lambs were transferred interstate by road.
  • In 2019, WA wool receivals totalled 71.5m kilograms (kg), down 9% from 78.5m kg in 2018.
  • WA sheepmeat exports reached 84.1m kg (carcase equivalent quantity (ceq)) in 2019, worth $596.6m - the highest on record.
    • Mutton exports totalled 44.2m kg, a year on year (YOY) increase of 27%, and were worth $259.2m, up 52% YOY and the highest on record.
    • Lamb exports reached 39.9m kg in 2019, down 2% from 2018. The value of lamb exports increased 10% YOY from $307m in 2018 to $337.4m.
    • The largest sheepmeat markets in 2019 were China, Qatar and the USA.
  • Live sheep exports reached 1.0m head in 2019, up 6% YOY and were valued at $136.2m, a yearly increase of 8%.
  • The largest market by both quantity and value for live sheep exports in 2019 was Kuwait followed by Qatar, and Jordan.
  • WA wool exports reached 49.2m kg in 2019, down 6% YOY and were worth $608.6m - down 13% on 2018.
  • China dominated WA’s wool exports in 2019 accounting for 87% of the volume and 88% of the value of WA wool exports. India was the second largest market taking 6% of wool exports, followed by Czechia with 2%.