Carmen-Lee Campbell - NSW - SHEEP

Finished lambs held up well this week, while store lambs and mutton ended cheaper. Lamb slaughter has rallied, particularly in NSW, with processors back in full swing and finding extra kill space.

The Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator moved just 1¢ lower over the week, dropping to 744¢/kg cwt. Lack of finished lamb supply in Victoria is seeing buyers head north in search of quality lambs. In the West a slightly bigger showing of lambs saw the Western Australian Trade Lamb Indicator down 30¢ to 484¢/kg cwt.

The National Restocker Lamb Indicator dropped 59¢ on the week to 595¢/kg cwt. Lambs to restockers are cheaper in Victoria, despite a 182¢ jump in price compared to the week prior to 609¢. In NSW, a large consignment of restocker lambs at the CTLX Carcoar put downward pressure on lambs of this type. The NSW restocker indicator fell back 125¢ to 622¢/kg cwt.

Merino lamb prices also fell over the week, down 24¢ to 643¢ while the Heavy lamb indicator kept fairly steady, even with a bigger yarding. Mutton ended the week cheaper in all states, pressured by a jump in supply of both ewes and wethers. The National Mutton Indicator shed 41¢ to 507¢/kg cwt.

East Coast lamb throughput for the week ending the 12th of August was over 150K head, a 46% jump on the week prior. This was largely driven by a big lift in yardings in NSW. In WA, 1,233 fewer lambs were yarded compared to the week prior.

There were some noteworthy figures in last weeks slaughter data. Combined sheep and lamb slaughter in NSW was the highest weekly tally we’ve seen this year. In the last four weeks NSW has processed 11% more sheep and lambs than the same period last year. Total east coast lamb slaughter was 3% higher than the week prior & 16% higher than the five year seasonal average.

The week ahead….

The market feels like its’ steadied out after the blip in late July. With spring around the corner it might not stay that way for too long, however the early new season lambs showing in central NSW are presenting with good quality which is supporting price. 

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Data sources: MLA, Mecardo

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