Lamb returned to yards in leaps and bounds in the week ending the 5th of February 2021. Compared to the shortened Australia day week, east coast lamb yardings were 140% higher. With 245,441 head yarded, this was the highest yarding for this time of the year that we have on record (27% above the five-year seasonal average).
Victoria and South Australia were responsible for much of the spike, where the number of lambs yarded was 71% above the five-year average in VIC and 63% above in SA.
While the lift in sheep yardings week on week was also significant, last weeks tally was still 11% below the five-year seasonal average. Some more kill space opened up for mutton last week and prices this week are reflective of that stronger demand. The National Mutton Indicator gained 26¢ to sit at 633¢/kg cwt. In Victoria mutton was 44¢ dearer by the end of the week with the indicator at 655¢/kg cwt, which is just below NSW at 657¢/kg cwt.
The Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator tracked sideways, down just 1¢ to 847¢/kg cwt. Heavy and light lambs each gained 6¢ on the week while re-stocker lambs were fairly steady.
We touched on lamb export demand earlier in the week and the below average volumes in January (view here). With the dollar appreciating another 1% this week, it certainly isn’t doing any favours for our export markets. The ESTLI in USD is 657¢/kg cwt which is 7% higher than the same time last year.
The week ahead….
Lamb prices have been quite steady for a few weeks now, and it appears that even the swings in yardings aren’t shifting the price level of the market.