Rainfall in the eastern Australian sheep regions has persisted into early January and continued to rejuvenate the restocker market. The National Restocker Lamb Indicator this week ended at 681¢/kg cwt, up a significant 43% on the last full sale week in December.
While mutton prices have also increased this week, they haven’t seen the same rally as lamb. The National Mutton Indicator ended this week at 261 x which is still 30% lower than the same time last year.
Tighter supply has also played its part in the uplift in demand. The large selloff in December and the early exit of light lambs to slaughter (read more) has displaced finished lamb supply. While this season is presenting an overall larger lamb crop compared to last year, the market response suggests that processors are concerned about whether the finished lamb supply is there to meet demand.
Much to the delight of the consumer, domestically, lamb on the supermarket shelves seems to be the cheapest it’s been in a long while. With the MLA Australia Day lamb campaign up and running, we’re expecting the boost in demand to flow through to a competitive market in the weeks ahead.