Spring flush behind but starting to build


Early reports suggest it was a much stronger yarding of both lambs and sheep this week which saw weaker competition for sheep and lower prices, while finished lambs improved slightly. New season lambs are building in pockets of the south, but still remain behind the seasonal trend in SA and Vic.

The Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator gained an extra 6¢ over the week to settle at 757¢/kg cwt. In the West Trade lambs ended weaker, down 16¢ to 525¢/kg cwt. Heavy lambs sold dearer, with Wagga contributing 23% of the heavy lamb supplied to NLRS reported saleyard. The National Heavy Lamb Indicator gained 7¢ over the week to 760¢/kg cwt.

Restocker lambs sold into a cheaper market. The national indicator dropped 61¢ to 719¢/kg cwt, which is around the level of early July. The National Mutton Indicator fell 12¢ to end at 524¢/kg cwt, 84¢ below the same time last year. Finished lambs managed to hold strong though.

AuctionsPlus reported that Victorian buyers have dominated online purchasing early in September, following a needed dose of rain. Last week 79% of the total Merino wether lamb offer through AuctionsPlus was secured by Victorian buyers.

For the week ending the 9th of September, 338,704 lambs were processed in the east which was a drop of 7% on the week prior. This was 3% higher than the five year seasonal average level. A lift in sheep slaughter took up some, but not all of the space from the lower lamb kill, lifting 11.5% on the week prior.

Last weeks east coast yarding of lambs was down 8,115 head on the week prior driven by a 6% drop in numbers in NSW. There was a large lift in lamb throughput in South Australia, with an additional 1,698 head yarded compared to the week prior. Both SA and Vic lamb yardings are running behind their usual pace for the spring flush.

The week ahead….

With the national public holiday on Thursday next week, and Grand Final holiday in Victoria on Friday, we have a disrupted sales week ahead. With numbers strong in NSW and lagging behind trend in the south, supply pressure is clearly ahead; just how much it overwhelms is the unanswered question.

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Data sources: MLA, Mecardo

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