Weekly cattle and sheep market wrap
15 September 2023
- Weekly lamb slaughter is the highest since April 2019 and the largest September week on record
- Cattle indicators eased over the week
- Lamb and sheep indicators continued to diverge based on weight, age and quality.
Cattle yardings rose by 6,383 to 44,533 head. The market eased this week, with price movements consistent between saleyards compared to previous weeks.
The heavy steer indicator eased by 15¢ to 253¢/kg liveweight (lwt). The indicator eased in every state, with most saleyards recording a change of between 10-25¢ from last week. There was less price movement for heavier cattle than lighter cattle included in the indicator and were priced more favourably.
The restocker yearling steer indicator was an exception to the previously mentioned consistency of price movement, easing by 2¢ to 241¢/kg lwt. Despite higher indicator throughput at Roma, prices rose by 9¢ to 264¢/kg lwt, a partial correction after substantial easing last week. This was not a common trend, with prices easing at most other saleyards.
The market continued to diverge this week, with some indicator prices rising and others easing in line with this week’s trends.
Yardings rose by 20,814 head week-on-week to 239,580. This was primarily due to increases in NSW, where lamb yardings rose by 18,671 to 172,023 head while sheep yardings held steady at 45,066 head. Numbers eased outside NSW, with yardings easing by 8,930 in Victoria to 34,593 head and easing in every state except NSW and Queensland.
The heavy lamb indicator firmed this week, rising by 2¢ to 453¢/kg carcase weight (cwt). Strong sales at Bendigo led to a price increase, offsetting easing in Wagga, Forbes and Corowa.
Prices have generally remained stable for younger lambs, heavier lambs, or lambs in good condition. Demand for plainer stock is lower, creating wide price divergence based on quality. This has been a trend MLA has identified for a number of months.
The mutton indicator eased by 24¢ this week to 113¢/kg cwt, continuing a frequently occurring pattern this year. The easing was consistent across saleyards, apart from Muchea, where mutton prices tightened by 14¢ after a substantial easing the week before.
Cattle slaughter was generally firm this week, easing by 1,715 to 125,622 head. Combined lamb and sheep slaughter rose by 22,483 to 618,318 head. This was largely due to lamb slaughter, which rose by 20,174 to 463,813 head, the highest weekly lamb slaughter figure since April 2019 and the largest week in September on record.
Gracemere Cattle market did not run this week.