Strong slaughter sticks around but finds a bounce

Processors continued to work through another week of strong lamb and sheep supply. The positive news is that prices generally stabilised across most categories of lamb and mutton. While the Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator was close to pushing under 800₵ it managed to bounce this week.

Lamb slaughter for the week ending the 23rd of April was 6% above the five-year seasonal average, and 15% above the same week last year. The number of sheep processed in the week was also 15% higher than the same period in 2020, but 5% below the five-year seasonal average.

While yards in NSW and Victoria appeared quiet last week compared to the boom of the week prior, the number of lambs yarded was still well above the seasonal average in all states. Total lamb yardings were 54% above the five-year average for last week. East coast sheep yardings returned to a more normal level, falling 47% on the week prior with the weeks tally just 7% below the seasonal average.

In the West, lamb yardings increased 93% on the week prior, and were 78% higher than the 5-year seasonal average. Sheep throughput in the state also jumped by over 10,000 head, to see 20,866 sheep yarded. 

The Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator gained 8¢ on the week to settle at 812¢/kg cwt. In the West, the Western Australian Trade Lamb Indicator gained 37¢. This wasn’t enough to make up the losses from the week prior, but at 732¢/kg cwt the indicator is just 5¢ below the same time last year.

Prices were a mixed bag of improvements and corrections between states and lamb categories. In NSW, demand was generally firmer, for all except restocker lambs which lost 37¢ on the week. Victoria saw minor movements in price. The Restocker Lamb Indicator in Victoria is now the only indicator in the state to sit higher than the same time last year (+13¢).

Nationally, the Heavy Lamb Indicator gained 3¢ to 777¢/kg cwt which is 10% or 84¢ below the same time last year. Mutton rebounded in NSW which helped push the National Mutton Indicator up 17¢ to 647¢/kg.

Commodity Conversations

The week ahead….

As reported in this week’s lamb and sheep analysis, for the rest of the year slaughter rates are expected to increase on last year’s levels. It’s a good sign that prices are holding relatively well despite the relatively strong supply of recent weeks.

Have any questions or comments?

We love to hear from you!
Print This Post

Click on graph to expand

Click on graph to expand

Click on graph to expand

Data sources: MLA, NLRS, Mecardo

Make decisions with confidence- ask about our board packs, bespoke forecasting and risk management services

Have any questions or comments?

We love to hear from you!
Sheep being herded by cattle dog
Sheep

Store sheep prices sliding

The shine has come off store sheep prices. After spending six months at historically extreme levels store lambs have eased in recent weeks, and some

Read More »

Don’t have an account with us? Join free.

You can have full premium access to all of our content with a monthly or annual subscription. 

Alternatively, create a free account to access our Insights blog and two free premium article a month!

Independent analysis and outlook for wool, livestock and grain markets delivered to you as it’s published

Commodity conversations podcast cover image, a illustration of a sheep standing on a cow's back with grain either side
Listen to the podcast

Join the Mecardo team for the Commodity Conversations podcast, where we provide short weekly market recaps and longer conversations with guests to discuss the drivers and trends in livestock, grain and fibre markets.

Photo of a farmer surrounded by Merino sheep in dusty yards
Research: Analysis of the Australian sheep flock

In this report for LiveCorp and MLA, we analysed the historical trends in the demographics of the Australian sheep flock, examining domestic factors that influence farm-level enterprise decision making. 

Image of harvested grain pouring into a chaser bin
SERVICES AND CAPABILITIES STATEMENT BROCHURE

We don’t just bring you the most up to date market insights. Find out more about Mecardo’s services including risk management advisory, modelling, benchmarking, research & consultancy.