sheep

With significant numbers of sheep and lamb being shifted off the farm, recent patches of rain and easing prices have seen some jump at restocker opportunities.

Eastern state’s trade lamb throughput was just under 64K head through the yards this week, a 13% week-on-week increase. This resulted in the indicator (ESTLI) declining 34¢ to 432¢/kg cwt, a 7% decline week on week.  In the West, the WA Trade Lamb Indicator dropped 23¢ to sit at 322¢/kg cwt on the back of a 71% uplift in supply after a fortnight of relatively low throughput.

Heavy lamb supply nationally was stable week on week at around 46K head, but throughput was 18% lower than the first week of August.  The easing of heavy lamb supply has not stemmed the impact of softening demand, as the national Heavy Lamb Indicator lost 20¢ to finish at 456¢/kg cwt.   

Restocker lambs had an interesting week on the East Coast, as NSW and Victoria had differing fortunes despite rainfall reaching around the Great Dividing Range in both states last week (See Figure 2).  In NSW, restocker spec lamb throughput increased 9% and the NSW indicator increased 64¢ to 294¢/kg cwt however in Victoria, buyers did not have the same confidence as the Victorian indicator for restocker lambs declined 45¢ to 285¢/kg cwt. 

The National Mutton Indicator (NMI) dropped under the 200¢ mark, falling 8% week on week to 188¢/kg cwt. This was driven by a lift in total sheep yardings, which increased 5% week on week based on initial NLRS reports.  The East and West Coast saleyards are swimming in Mutton, with weekly yardings nationally more than double the same week last year.  WA mutton yardings reached 9K head, the highest figure since March this year.  It was a 65% week-on-week increase and a 149% higher year-on-year.

Slaughter last week nationally remains elevated, as sheep slaughter was 36% higher year on year and lamb slaughter was 10% higher year on year.  With yardings again elevated this week, it is likely the processors will be busy again next week. 

Next week

Those who aren’t looking to take on more lambs back to the paddock will be hoping that processors can absorb what’s to come. Spring brings elevated supply and new season lamb numbers are only going to increase.

Mutton exports year to July are up 53% year on year, and we have sent over 51 000 tonnes swt to China (96% more than last year).  This trade relationship has been and will be a critical release valve for mutton supply and the continued easing of mutton prices will likely see prioritisation in this direction by processors in the next few weeks. 

Have any questions or comments?

We love to hear from you!

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.