sheep and lambs in yard

Lamb and sheep indicators saw a slight lift this week, with all bar one finishing the week higher than when it started. Reports from major yards all report of a full buying field, who were not fully active in the market. Despite this slight drop in demand, the price across the board has still improved, with finished lambs outperforming the lighter ones as the season continues to mature.

The Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator closed the week with a small increase of 2% (9 c/kg), pushing the indicator back above the 600 c/kg waterline to 604 c/kg. This small increase was due to a 39% (16.3k head) decrease in trade lamb yardings. Wagga averaged 12% (75 c/kg) above the indicator and had the 3rd largest contribution to the indicator behind Ballarat and Hamilton. The saleyard report from Wagga talked of the large decrease in supply being the “catalyst for a much dearer market”.

The Heavy lamb indicator rose 3% (17c/kg) for the week, finishing at 635 c/kg. Yardings for heavy lambs were up 8% as the season progresses and more supply from the paddock now weighing in over the 26kg cwt comes forward, the requisite for the indicator.

The Merino lamb indicator had the largest jump for the week, up 11% (48 c/kg), and finished the week at 498 c/kg. Like the heavy lambs, this was off the back of more lambs in the indicator being offered for sale than the week before. Yardings for the indicator were up 28% (1.8k head). Merino lambs are now within 20 c/kg of this time last year, and up 126% (278 c/kg) from the bottom of the market last year in mid-September.

The National Mutton Indicator also followed the trend this week finishing the week up 8% (17 c/kg) to 238 c/kg. Yardings were back 10% (5.5k head) on the previous week. Restocker lambs finished the week at 535 c/kg up 5%, pushing it 3% (17 c/kg) above where the indicator was this time last year. Making it the only indicator to be up year on year. 

Next week

A short selling week is ahead, with the Good Friday public holiday causing some markets to not take place. The BOM is still not forecasting any significant rainfall for major lamb and sheep areas around the nation, which will continue to plague the minds of producers as they hold out for the autumn break and begin to make decisions about the next season.

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Data sources: MLA, BOM, Mecardo

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