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MLA’s weekly cattle and sheep market wrap

15 July 2021

Key points:

  • EYCI breaks the 975¢/kg mark 
  • WYCI falls below the EYCI  
  • Restocker lamb prices continue to surge 

Young cattle 

Another week, another EYCI record, with the indicator hitting 975¢/kg as more vealer cattle were offered. Seven saleyards averaged over 1,000¢/kg for young cattle on the back of increased vealer throughput. The weather also continues to drive restocker demand, helping push the prices up.

The Western Young Cattle Indicator (WYCI) had remained above the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) for most of 2021 so far, but this week the surge of its eastern counterpart means that young cattle in WA are no longer commanding a premium. The WYCI is currently trading at a 12¢/kg deficit to the EYCI.

Heavy steers

This week, the heavy steer price surged 6% early in the week to 450¢/kg, before dropping back to 437¢/kg (3% back on the peak, but higher than last week). While the heavy steer price remains high, a number of restockers believe there is a margin to be made in buying light steers and adding weight to them.

Sheep prices

Sheep prices are mixed this week. Nationally, mutton and Merino lamb prices eased slightly, while heavy lamb and trade lamb prices plateaued. On the contrary, light and restocker lamb prices continued to climb. The slowing of prices in some sheep categories potentially mean that seasonal winter sheep prices may have peaked.

NSW lockdown

The COVID-19 lockdown in Sydney has been extended as the number of cases remain relatively high. The lockdown will remain in place until at least the end of July.

The virus has spread to Victoria – it remains to be seen if Victoria will enter a lockdown. The cost of the lockdown and its impact on the foodservice industry is not yet known.

© Meat & Livestock Australia Limited, 2021