Lower throughput for lambs indicates the approach of winter. Whilst lamb indicators were lower, mutton markets found some favour this week, improving week on week despite more numbers through the yards.

Trade lambs fared the worst this week despite lower throughput, resulting in the Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator (ESTLI) losing 33¢ to 653¢/kg cwt. Saleyard reports across the East Coast cited that domestic buyers continue to be present but were more selective as the quality of presented stock begins to decline (typical of this time of year).  

The national restocker lamb tracked sideways this week despite a 36% increase in numbers that qualify for the indicator.  Light lambs and Merino lambs lost 7-8¢ for the week and heavy lambs were 15¢ lower overall nationally.

Mutton prices have been relatively steady this Autumn and were the best performers this week, as the National Mutton Indicator (NMI) improved 20¢ to 277¢/kg cwt, an 8% week on week improvement. The throughput of Mutton to the yards was 13% higher than last week but bidding remained strong. Wagga, which drove the increase in mutton yardings this week saw strong bidding for mutton per MLA saleyard reports.

Mutton demand was covered in more detail earlier this week by Jamie-Lee Oldfield (read here).  Mutton slaughter has increased in line with lamb but is still higher than the long-term average. However, mutton prices are still at 10-year lows and lagging lambs as restocker interest remains subdued.

East Coast lamb slaughter last week increased 25% to 447K which is testing the upward bounds of recent history.  

Next week

Victorian restocker lambs lost 45¢ for the week.  With some rainfall reaching North-West Victoria and saleyard reports noting a lack of grain-finished lambs there could be a response from the market in the coming week or so if supply backs off.

Have any questions or comments?

We love to hear from you!

Click on graph to expand

Click on graph to expand

Data sources: MLA, 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!

Want market insights delivered straight to your inbox?

Sign up to the mailing list to get regular updates to new analysis and market outlooks

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

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.