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Weekly cattle and sheep market wrap

15 March 2024

Key points:

  • The restocker yearling steer declined by 16c to 339¢/kg lwt.
  • The mutton indicator eased by 2¢ to 223¢/kg cwt.
  • Mutton quality has been consistent, leading to a price premium for heavy weight ewes.


The cattle market has experienced a downturn across all indicators. Cattle yardings have decreased by 20,001 to 67,332 head, marking a 30% increase compared to figures from 2023. Notably, there has been a 40% increase in week-on-week yardings compared to 2023.

The feeder steer indicator has declined by 21¢ to 308¢/kg liveweight (lwt), reflecting weaker prices than usual. Yardings remain stable compared to last week, holding at around 9,257 head. Weak demand is resulting in reduced competition for well-finished cattle.

Restocker yearling steers declined 16¢ to 339¢/kg lwt. Although prices have eased across all states, yardings increased by 1,542 to 5,466 head. Market reports suggest that buyers are becoming more selective regarding quality and are favouring heavier cattle regardless of age.


The sheep market has also experience a downturn across all indicators. Yardings deceased by 17,997 to 233,434 head, with both sheep and lamb yardings have declining by 15% and 4%, respectively.

The light lamb indicator declined by 17¢ to 532¢/kg carcase weight (cwt). Yardings eased by 1,849 to 25,582 head. Market reports indicate short skin and well-finished light lambs received a premium.

The mutton indicator eased by 2¢ to 223¢/kg carcase weight (cwt). Prices are relatively mixed across states, with Victorian prices increasing by 15¢ due to greater competition among buyers at Ballarat. Conversely, prices decreased by 7¢ at Dubbo but remain 20¢ above the national average. The price differential is attributed to relatively consistent quality at saleyards, with prices holding steady for light and medium-weight sheep and rising for heavyweight ewes.

Sheep projections 

The sheep webinar will be held on 19 March at 10am (AEDST). Click to register to receive the webinar link on Monday morning.