Another wet week has seen further improvement in lamb and sheep markets. Merino lambs had the biggest move higher, followed by trade lambs with reports of many buyers active interstate at saleyards.

The Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator lifted 30¢ on the week to finish at 767¢/kg cwt. The ESTLI is currently 1% or 7¢ below the five year seasonal average. In WA, trade lamb prices also increased, up 15¢ to 555¢/kg cwt. The National Heavy Lamb Indicator gained 15¢ over the week, driven by improved pricing in NSW that offset falls across the week in VIC and SA.

Merino lamb prices continued to improve this week with the national indicator gaining an additional 54¢ compared to the week prior. Light lambs also moved higher, with the national indicator up 17¢ to 690¢/kg cwt. In SA however, the seasonal climb in supply of light lambs has kicked into gear which added some pressure to price in the state this week.

Restocker lambs were the only category to see prices cheaper at a national level over the week. Mutton was more expensive, despite a bigger yarding. The National Mutton Indicator gained 10¢ over the week to 511¢.

For the last week of September east coast lamb and sheep slaughter reached a combined 429,785 head. This was just 1% shy of the same week in 2021, and 5% below the five year seasonal average for this point in the season.

 A large lift in saleyard throughput in the week ending the 30th of September (after the short week prior) saw lamb yardings 2%  above the seasonal average. It will likely take a few weeks to make up the volumes from the short week ending the 23rd of sept. With the sky opening up across the east supply is likely to be disrupted in the week ahead too.

The week ahead….

We may see prices travel sideways until the big supply out of Victoria starts to come forward. If there wasn’t already widespread confidence in pasture availability across the south and east by the end of this week there should be.

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Data sources: MLA, Mecardo

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