Sheep muster in outback Queensland near Charleville.

Unseasonably strong supply is adding to the pressure on the lamb and sheep market. The winter price rally which usually accompanies the seasonal low in supply is yet to surface on either account, as lambs and sheep just keep coming.

The Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator (ESTLI) dropped 25¢ over the week to settle at 758¢/kg cwt. This now puts the ESTLI at 106¢ below the same time last year. In the West, the Western Australian Trade Lamb Indicator (WATLI) continued it’s fall, shedding another 22¢ to 573¢/kg cwt. All categories of lamb in WA are trading at between 164 to 344¢ below the same time last year.

Mutton prices also lost ground over the week. The National Mutton Indicator dropped 30¢ to 563¢/kg cwt. Results were mixed in Victoria, where early saleyard reports pegged throughput significantly lower than the week prior as producers respond to the cheaper market. Finished lambs in Victoria improved slightly on last week, while Merino and Restocker lambs ended weaker. Results were also mixed in SA, while in NSW it was red ink for all categories except for Restocker lambs which bounced back up 94¢ to 771¢/kg cwt.

For the week ending the 24th of July east coast slaughter bounced 20% on the week prior to see 368,271 lambs processed. The number of sheep destined for the processor also lifted 17% compared to the week prior. Combined, sheep and lamb slaughter was 10% higher than the average levels for this point in the season.

Stock were flocking to yards last week. Over 19,000 lambs were yarded in the east, which was higher than the same time last year, and 12% above seasonal average levels. Tas, NSW and Victoria all contributed to the stronger throughput. East coast sheep yardings were also unseasonably high. Over 80,000 head were yarded, which is the strongest week of sheep yardings in the east so far in 2022.

The week ahead….

With the way the market has been heading, the question on many minds is probably – “will there be any winter price rally”. Winter is typically when we’d see processors shut down for maintenance, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see stronger than usual slaughter rates continue, given the weaker levels earlier in the year and the strong consumer demand. There is room for upside still if supply tightens but it’s unlikely to be what we’re accustomed to in winter.  

Have any questions or comments?

We love to hear from you!
Print This Post

Click on graph to expand

Click on graph to expand

Click on graph to expand

Data sources: MLA, Mecardo

Make decisions with confidence- ask about our board packs, bespoke forecasting and risk management services

Have any questions or comments?

We love to hear from you!
Sheep

Mutton in the green

Prices rose for all bar one of the lamb and Sheep indicators this week, in what was a short selling week due to a public

Read More »
Sheep

Mutton makes 12 month highs

The market was buzzing this week, with stronger competition and lighter yardings driving prices significantly higher on all types of lambs and sheep. Some decent

Read More »
Sheep

Two speed spread grows

The imminent start of winter has brought with it the rain and it has delivered. The west finally got the drink it so desperately needed,

Read More »

Want market insights delivered straight to your inbox?

Sign up to the mailing list to get regular updates to new analysis and market outlooks

Independent analysis and outlook for wool, livestock and grain markets delivered to you as it’s published

Commodity conversations podcast cover image, a illustration of a sheep standing on a cow's back with grain either side
Listen to the podcast

Join the Mecardo team for the Commodity Conversations podcast, where we provide short weekly market recaps and longer conversations with guests to discuss the drivers and trends in livestock, grain and fibre markets.

Photo of a farmer surrounded by Merino sheep in dusty yards
Research: Analysis of the Australian sheep flock

In this report for LiveCorp and MLA, we analysed the historical trends in the demographics of the Australian sheep flock, examining domestic factors that influence farm-level enterprise decision making. 

Image of harvested grain pouring into a chaser bin
SERVICES AND CAPABILITIES STATEMENT BROCHURE

We don’t just bring you the most up to date market insights. Find out more about Mecardo’s services including risk management advisory, modelling, benchmarking, research & consultancy.