Subscribe to MLA's e-newsletters

Stay informed with the latest red meat and livestock industry news, events, research and marketing.

Sign up
Back to News & Events

Weekly cattle and sheep market wrap

24 November 2023

Key points:

  • The cattle market rose over the week, with the restocker yearling heifer indicator rising 28¢.
  • Lamb prices rose this week, especially among light lambs and restockers.
  • The beef producer intentions survey is currently running.


Widespread rain in eastern and central Australia had a positive effect on demand, and prices generally rose. Yardings fell by 10,842 to 35,357 head as wet conditions reduced saleyard turnout and some sales did not run. In Queensland, yardings fell by 5,947 to 6,198 head as the Charters Towers sale did not run and Dalby, Roma and Warwick had substantially smaller sales than the week prior.

While prices lifted across most categories, lighter, younger cattle rose more than average. The restocker yearling heifer lifted 38¢ over the week to 239¢/kg live weight (lwt), the largest increase among the indicators. Indicator throughput fell by 987 in Queensland to 445 head, while the indicator lifted 44¢ to 254¢/kg lwt. Other states had similar numbers to the previous week, but also had considerable price increases.  

The wet conditions on the east coast over the past week did not occur in Western Australia, which meant cattle prices were much more subdued than prices on the east coast. The western young cattle indicator (WYCI) held firm over the week at 389¢/kg carcase weight (cwt), while the eastern young cattle indicator (EYCI) lifted 43¢ over the week to 486¢/kg cwt. The discount on the WYCI is the reverse of the trend that has occurred through most of this year, as the WYCI has tended to maintain a modest premium.  

Sheep and lambs

Prices lifted this week, with strong increases among restockers and lighter lambs. Overall yardings remained steady, as they have been for the last four weeks, with lamb yardings lifting by 16,134 to 239,856 head and sheep yardings easing by 7729 to 79,792 head.

The heavy lamb indicator rose by 3¢ to 502¢/kg cwt. Lower numbers of heavy lambs and consistent demand in NSW meant prices lifted by 26¢ to 536¢/kg cwt, while prices held firm at 508¢/kg cwt in Victoria as numbers remained consistent with the previous week.

The light lamb indicator rose by 38¢ to 407¢/kg cwt. At Wagga, the yarding was entirely made up of new season lambs, and light lamb prices lifted 47¢ to 459¢/kg cwt. At Hamilton, restocker and feeder bidding led to prices lifting 54¢ from last week to 428¢/kg cwt.

Beef producer intentions survey

The November beef producer intentions survey is currently running. The survey is focused on grassfed cattle producers and will deliver valuable herd demographic data, alongside sentiment insights and an indication of producers’ intentions over the upcoming 12 months.

Producers who complete the survey can elect to receive a benchmarking scorecard which will compare their performance against similar producers in their state and of a similar herd size.

To complete the survey, click here