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Weekly cattle and sheep market wrap

08 March 2024

Key points:

  • The processor cow eased by 8¢ to 233¢/kg lwt.
  • The light lamb indicator rose by 21¢ to 549¢/kg cwt.
  • Better quality sheep and cattle are commanding better prices.


The cattle market has experienced a general easing across all indicators this week. Yardings have decreased by 5,802 to 62,583 head, but remaining above the weekly average of 45,851 head, a 23% increase from last year.

The processor cow eased by 7¢ to 234¢/kg liveweight (lwt). While prices have eased across all states, they have generally remained steady.  Yardings for processor-ready cattle have increased by 1,811 to 9,057 head, reflecting a growing demand, which is helping to maintain prices.

Restocker yearling steer prices have declined by 21¢ to 355¢/kg lwt, with decreases observed across all states. Quality remains a significant factor driving prices, with medium to heavy cattle for restocking fetching better prices compared to stock heading for feedlots.


The sheep market exhibited mixed trends this week, with heavy and light lamb prices experiencing an uplift. Yardings for sheep declined significantly by 61,645 to 72,627 head. Lamb yardings also declined by 23,198 to 168,604 head, marking a 26% decrease in total yardings.

The light lamb indicator rose by 21¢ to 549¢/kg carcase weight (cwt). Victorian prices are 49¢ above the national price, contributes to 30% of the indicator. Reports from the National Livestock Reporting Service indicate a substantial offering of light lambs, with prices remaining stable.  

The trade lamb indicator eased by 3¢ to 612¢/kg cwt.  While prices in Victoria increased slightly, the overall trend across the rest of Australia has remained steady.  There continues to be a demand for trade lambs weighing between 20–24kg, although lambs with longer wool are being heavily discounted.


Week ending 1 March 2024

Cattle slaughter has decreased by 12,168 to 116,179 head. The overall slaughter trend was mixed, with NSW experiencing a decrease of 9,864, and Victorian slaughter declining by 2,079 head.

Sheep and lamb slaughter decreased slightly by 1,023 to 608,974 head. Lamb slaughter eased by 19% to 434,893 head, with Victoria recorded a decline of 47,849 head. Meanwhile, South Australia lifted by 27,312, and NSW slaughter lifted by 11,564 head. Sheep slaughter rose by 16,753 to 174,081 head, with NSW rising by 38,414 head and Victorian slaughter decreasing by 18,467 head.