Weekly cattle and sheep market wrap
12 January 2024
- The restocker yearling steer indicator lifted by 113¢ to 360¢/kg lwt
- The light lamb indicator eased by 59¢ to 708¢/kg cwt
- Lamb yardings have lifted by 195,064 to 241,995 head.
The cattle market generally lifted this week with strong processor demand for weaner cattle. Yardings increased by 7,027 to 24,547 head which is expected for the beginning of the year.
The restocker yearling steer indicator lifted by 113¢ to 360¢/kg live weight (lwt). Prices rose in Queensland by 31¢ above the national average, contributing to 64% of the market. According to the National Livestock Reporting Service (NLRS) market reports, the strong rainfall over Christmas led to a 20–30¢/kg price improvement in Dalby.
The feeder steer indicator lifted by 54¢ to 306¢/kg lwt. Cattle prices have risen significantly due to a lack of domestic stock leading to positive trends in prices across NSW and Queensland.
Sheep and lamb
The sheep and lamb market prices have been mixed. After the Christmas break, total yardings have lifted by 221,312 to 316,193 head. Most of the numbers came from lamb yardings lifting by 195,064 to 241,995 head.
The trade lamb indicator lifted by 5¢ to 776¢/kg carcase weight (cwt). Prices were mixed with NSW lifting 27¢ and Victorian prices easing by 19¢. At Forbes, the higher price reflects the opening of the market with trade lambs being well supplied. While at Hamilton, the market was strong but eased by $5-$15/head for unshorn lambs.
The light lamb indicator eased by 59¢ to 708¢/kg cwt. Prices have eased compared to last week after reaching the highest prices since the beginning of 2023. Increased competition from restockers and an overall strong market have eased prices, but there continues to be growing interest in light lambs.
Slaughter reports will start on 17 January 2024 as processors open after the Christmas break closures.