SHEEP FORECAST KEY POINTS:
• Extremely strong producer intent to maintain breeding ewes, strong wool prices and low grain prices to be major influences on Australian sheep industry in 2017;
• 2.7 million fewer sheep and lambs to be processed in 2017 compared to last year;
• 2017 lamb slaughter forecasts revised down by 500,000 head to 21.5 million head;
• Mutton slaughter set to be second lowest on record – a 1.2 million head (17 per cent) year-on-year drop to 5.8 million; and
• Sheep and lamb prices set to average alongside, or even exceed, previous records on the back of tighter than usual supply.