WA sheep in yard
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Yardings bounced back last week with mixed results across saleyards as patchy rain may have some producers questioning restocker intentions going into next season. On average, all the national indicators rose though bar mutton.

Slaughter numbers also rose last week with a 6% lift in lambs slaughtered on the week prior to just over 300,000 head, while we saw a 4% lift in sheep slaughter to 71,471 head. Both levels are still below the same time last year and at the bottom end of the 5-year range.

Lamb yardings last week were up 53% on the week prior to just under 150,000 lambs on east coast for the week ending 29th April. VIC saw the biggest increase in lambs to the market, up around 35,000 head on the week prior to around 62,000 head whilst NSW also saw nearly 20,000 extra lambs come the saleyards.  (figure 2)

There was an even bigger lift in sheep yardings, up 65% on the week prior to just under 50,000 head of sheep. Both sheep and lamb yardings, like slaughter numbers, were well below the same time last year (-15 & -23%) and the 5-year average. However, if covid disruptions to the processing work-force continue to ease, we may see more capacity open up and see less of a winter lull in numbers than usual – a ‘steadier’ supply of sheep and lambs might suit processors and keep some stability in the market.  (figure 2)

The market this week seems to have happily absorbed the extra lamb numbers however, with all the national indicators lifting on the week prior. Light lambs were the standout, having reversed some of the previous few weeks falls, up 38¢ to 797¢/kg cwt. Keep in mind this was not an even lift with big variations across the 3 biggest south-eastern sheep producing states, with the light lamb indicator rising by 64¢ on average in NSW, but falling in SA & VIC 103¢ & 39¢ respectively.

The extra sheep numbers coming to the yards may been too much though, with the national mutton indicator falling 18¢ to 568¢/kg cwt, albeit still tracking along slightly above the 5-year average.

The eastern states trade lamb indicator (ESTLI) gained 18¢ on last week to sit at 798¢/kg cwt, just over 100¢ lower than the same time last year. The WA trade lamb indicator meanwhile rose 88¢ to finish at 675¢/kg cwt. The aussie dollar strengthened to 0.711US cents keeping the ESTLI in US dollar terms, also just above the 5-year average. (figure 3)

The week ahead….

The RBA’s finally lifted it’s rates, the first time since 2010. Although some parts of the country are continuing to experience good rainfall, patchy rain in other parts may have some producers re-thinking their restocking intentions going into the next financial year, especially with the added pressure of the 1st of possibly more short-term interest rate rises.

Next week we should see some even bigger yardings figures, with the first full week in over a month we’ll get to know a bit more about where the market is headed.

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, 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!
WA sheep in yard
Sheep

Yardings bounce back

Yardings bounced back last week with mixed results across saleyards as patchy rain may have some producers questioning restocker intentions going into next season. On

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.