A week of tighter lamb and sheep throughput put an end to the tanking prices. All categories managed to improve week on week, as competition returned for what was on offer.

The Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator (ESTLI) decline came to a stop, bouncing 11¢ this week to end at the 700¢/kg cwt mark. The ESTLI is still holding a 153¢ discount to last year.

Restocker Lambs found some more interest at these new pricing levels, the National Indicator gained 27¢ to 673¢/kg/cwt. The price gap between restocker lamb prices in Victoria and NSW was at around 110¢ this week with NSW at a premium.

The National Mutton Indicator lifted 35¢ over the week to 360¢/kg cwt with mutton in NSW collecting the strongest prices.

Lamb slaughter was strong last week, with plenty flowing out of the south. 360,694 lambs were processed last week which was 6% more than the same week in 2021.

262,664 lambs were yarded in the east last week which was stronger than this time last year. The early reports suggest lamb throughput tightened up this week on the back of the cheaper market last week, which helped prices to find some strength.

Sheep slaughter continues to track around 10% below the same time last year.

The week ahead….

There are plenty more lambs still to come through the saleyards, and all signs are that pent up supply will mean numbers in the new year will be higher year on year. We know it’s a combination of weaker export demand, weaker restocker demand and spring flush supplies that drove prices off the cliff last week. On the export front, the announcement of easing of Covid restrictions in China is good news for demand, especially for mutton.

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Data sources: MLA, Mecardo

Photo Credit: Megen Wrigglesworth

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