Last week, east coast lamb slaughter dropped by 1% on the week prior with 358,384 head processed, while sheep slaughter fell by 20% to 71,987 head. (Figure 1) We can expect slaughter levels to remain on par or fall lower for the next two months, in line with the 5 year historical averages.
There was a big lift in east coast saleyard lamb throughput last week however, up 43% on the week prior, to 205,220 lambs yarded. This is 30% higher than the same week last year and slightly above the 5 year average. Sheep yardings increased by even more last week, up 61% on the week prior, to 63,098 head. (Figure 1 & 2)
As reported by MLA, the quality of lambs was mixed this week which was reflected in the overall price indicators. The Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator shed 16¢ on last week, to finish this week at 775¢/kg cwt. All other indicators fell in the east on last week bar mutton which stayed put and restocker lambs, which jumped up 32¢.
Looking at the national indicators there was red all round, with all indicators dropping between 5 to 50¢ on last week. Light lambs fell the most, although it wasn’t consistent across all states, in NSW they fell by 77¢ and 67¢ in Tasmania, while in Victoria & SA they lifted 21 & 31¢ respectively. Restocker lambs well sought after, especially in Victoria, with the indicator lifting 57¢ on last week to 808¢/kg cwt there.
The national mutton indicator fell by 22¢ to 626¢/kg, dragged down by SA & Victoria, falling 60 & 25¢ respectively while in NSW it lifted by 23¢. The national mutton indicator is currently sitting 27¢ down on the same week last year.
The week ahead….
With export demand still stronger than ever, we expect this will keep a solid floor in the market, even more reason for producers to take extra care of their stock as we can expect prices to remain historically high over the short term.