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Weekly cattle, sheep and goat market wrap

17 September 2021

Key points:

  • National Feeder Steer Indicator has risen 18¢/kg lwt in 10 sale days
  • Over-the-hook goat prices strongest since April 2020
  • Current national lull in lamb supply is not out of the ordinary

New record for the National Feeder Steer Indicator

The National Feeder Steer Indicator broke a new record again this week, hitting 523¢/kg liveweight (lwt) on Tuesday. Since the middle of June, the Indicator has appreciated 81¢, or 15%, and from the beginning of this month, it lifted 18¢/kg lwt, or 3%, in 10 sale days.

Increased supply has done little to dampen demand, with an extra 1,451 head yarded week-on-week. Big lifts from Tamworth and Wagga Wagga have driven supply upwards – Wagga rose by 685 head and Tamworth by 585 head week-on-week to account for over 27% of the total feeder steer yarding. With these saleyards being two of the top three most expensive sales, it’s evident that key cattle regions for feeder cattle throughout NSW are confident of the season ahead.

Over-the-hooks goat prices highest since April 2020

Since the start of the year, goat over-the-hooks prices have appreciated by 93¢, or 10%, to sit at 898¢/kg carcase weight (cwt).

International demand is supporting the increase, and for the year-to-date has been 20% stronger than in 2020, equating to 1,502 tonnes. The US has continued to drive this increase, with demand increasing 29% year-on-year for the same period.

Although the US is the dominant market, South Korea has experienced growth of 97% for the year-to-date compared with 2020.

Current lower lamb supply is not unusual

In the previous two years, national lamb yardings have fallen before recovering in line with traditional spring flush expectations (see graph below). Since June, national average weekly yardings are operating 22% stronger than 2020 levels and 5% stronger than 2019 levels – this equates to 38,000 and 9,000 head more compared to 2020 and 2019 in average terms.

Although slides in supply in recent weeks could be considered unusual relative to the strength of the winter yarding period where volumes were very strong, current supply lulls were also experienced in the previous two years.

seasonal lamb yardings.png