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Weekly cattle and sheep market wrap

17 November 2023

Key points:

  • Cattle prices lifted over the week, with the feeder steer indicator rising 21¢ to 226¢/kg lwt.
  • Lamb prices varied by state and saleyard, while yardings rose.
  • Cattle slaughter fell by nearly 9,000 from last week.


Cattle prices lifted this week, particularly for feeder and restocker cattle. Yardings lifted 10,578 to 45,061 head, slightly above the five-week average of 44,677.

The restocker yearling steer indicator lifted by 41¢ to 280¢/kg live weight (lwt). Prices have lifted in the majority of states, with the strongest price increase in NSW of 46¢ to 271¢/kg lwt.

The feeder steer indicator lifted by 21¢ to 238¢/kg lwt. Consistent rainfall has supported prices in the market with greater interest in yearling steers from feedlots. Queensland prices lifted by 27¢ to 226¢/kg lwt.  

Sheep and lamb

The sheep and lamb market experienced another mixed week. Some sales had considerable uplift in prices, while prices eased substantially in others. Overall total yardings this week eased by 15,864 head, largely due to a drop in lamb yardings of 21,453 head while sheep yardings are relatively stable.

The heavy lamb indicator rose by 13¢ from last week to end at 499¢/kg carcase weight (cwt). In NSW, the indicator lifted 39¢ to end the week at 510¢/kg cwt, which was largely due to a strong showing at Wagga. By contrast, in Victoria the indicator held firm at 507¢/kg cwt, despite considerable price volatility in individual saleyards; prices lifted strongly at Hamilton and Horsham, while easing at Ballarat and Bendigo. National Livestock Reporting Service (NLRS) market reports continue to note that prices for well-finished lambs regardless of age continue to hold firmer than average, due to varied quality at saleyards.  


Week ending 10 November 2023

Cattle slaughter fell by 8,744 to 122,744 head. Slaughter declined in all states except South Australia, with a small increase of 538 head. Victoria has the largest decline in slaughter by 2,895 head, closely followed by Queensland declining by 2,623 head.

Lamb slaughter fell by 22,235 head and sheep slaughter fell by 16,832 head. The largest decline in lamb slaughter came from Western Australia, where slaughter fell by 30,613 head. The only state that had an increase in lamb slaughter was NSW, where numbers lifted by 20,834 to 122,152 head. Sheep slaughter fell by 16,832 to 160,713 head, declining in all states except Queensland and Tasmania, which each recorded small increases.

Market news

The NLRS has released two new indicators based on online transaction data. Read more here and click here to access the new indicators.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released their quarterly slaughter and production statistics. MLA’s initial analysis can be found here.

On Tuesday, the September edition of the Lot feeding brief was released. More information is available here.

Next week, MLA Updates will be held in Bendigo. For more information and to register for the event, click here.