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Weekly cattle and sheep market wrap

02 February 2024

Key points:

  • The EYCI lifted by 23¢ to 667¢/kg cwt
  • The restocker lamb indicator lifted 26¢ to 627¢/kg cwt
  • Sheep and lamb slaughter has eased by 83,642 to 571,593 head.


The cattle market has lifted significantly this week for all indicators. Yardings have eased by 1,092 to 50,971 head stabilising over the last week.

The eastern states young cattle indicator (EYCI) lifted by 23¢ to 667¢/kg carcase weight (cwt). The highest price was in Queensland where prices lifted to 709¢/kg cwt but the largest price jump was in Victoria by 57¢ to 623¢/kg cwt. Good weather has boosted the confidence of producers with the potential of improving pastures.

The feeder steer indicator lifted by 98¢ to 350¢/kg live weight (lwt). Supply is stable with yardings lifting 227 to 11,007 head. This shift in prices has been driven by the strong competition from lot feeders in driving up the prices in a pursuit to secure numbers.

Sheep and Lambs

The lamb markets eased with the exception of the restocker lamb indicator. Yardings were up week-on-week following the low numbers over the long weekend. Yardings lifted 123,741 head to 373,621 total sheep and lamb yardings.

The mutton indicator lifted 34¢ to 312¢/kg cwt. Yardings lifted by 22,620 to 103,245 in the indicator, meanwhile heavy mutton prices remained resilient. High supply at Wagga met demand for heavier lambs pushing prices 31¢ above the indicator. The same trends occurred at other saleyards with prices as high as 42¢ above the national price.

The restocker lamb indicator lifted 26¢ to 627¢/kg cwt. Yardings fell by 1,178 to 27,159 head. Demand towards finished good quality lambs shifted attention from restockers across almost all major saleyards. Good weather has likely been influencing producers to hold onto stock to reach the premium prices for heavier animals.


Week ending 26 January 2024

Cattle slaughter has eased by 20,526 to 95,587 head. Slaughter has decreased in all states with Queensland reducing slaughter the most by 9,402 head, closely followed by New South Wales by 6,227 head.

Sheep and lamb slaughter has eased by 83,642 to 571,593 head. Sheep slaughter has eased by 28,645 to 164,640 head while lamb slaughter has eased by 54,997 to 406,953 head. Victorian Lamb slaughter has eased by significantly by 38,728 to 205,224 head.