Back to News & Events

Subscribe to MLA’s newsletters

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

Sign up

Weekly sheep and cattle market wrap

27 May 2022

Key points:

  • The EYCI has rebounded after stronger yardings in Roma this week.
  • Charters Towers took out 55% of the medium cow contribution after good rains in the area.
  • Restocker and light lambs have softened as producers look to avoid processor oversupply in the future.
  • Sheep slaughter eases as the winter seasonal dip begins.

Indicators

The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) has strengthened 14¢ week-on-week on the back of a strong Roma sale, which contributed 13.4% of reporting head. The number of head reporting on the EYCI has improved this week to reach nearly 9,500, increasing the stability of the indicator.

The Western Young Cattle Indicator (WYCI) has remained relatively stable over the last few weeks, currently sitting at 1,092.89¢/kg cwt with yardings softening in Mount Barker.

Charters Towers

This week, Charters Towers contributed 55.4% of the 1,141 head of medium cows in the indicator, trading at a 4.3¢ premium on the national average of 360.31¢/kg lwt. This pushed up the indicator by 15¢ week-on-week along with some other premiums found in Roma and Shepparton.

The increase in yardings at Charters Towers was due to recent weather events, which held stock back and made it difficult to get animals to market. Now, with roads clear and good quality available, they are seeing an increase in yardings in this area. Cows that have now been preg-tested or are older in age are being sold on to eager buyers between processors, with some larger ones coming back into the market for supply that has been tight in recent months.

The rain in the region has also meant more feed on the ground – something which has not occurred in some time in the area. This flush of local supply is expected to ease over the coming months as producers hold on to their light cows in an attempt to increase weight gains on grassfed cattle now that there is more feed available. However, supply from the northern mustering season will feed down.

Meanwhile, grain and fuel prices are putting pressure on feeder sales.

Sheep

Restocker and light lamb prices have eased 34.5¢ and 45.3¢ week-on-week respectively. Producers are slowing their demand as processors are booked out until July. There is less demand for lambs that need weight put on for processor demand only to be brought to market when there is a flood of supply later.

Saleyards such as Forbes were still fetching a premium of 52.7¢ on the national average for light lambs, contributing 17.7%. Meanwhile, large sales such as Hamilton and Bendigo were trading under the national average, pulling down the indicator.

Forbes was trading at a 102¢ premium for restocker lambs after good rains on the coast of NSW. Meanwhile, restockers in the west are trading at 395.25¢ below the national average of 824.07¢.

Slaughter

Lamb and sheep slaughter has softened week-on-week by 4% and 33% respectively as seasonal dips due to joining begin. This is also off the back of good rainfall on the east coast in Queensland and NSW.

Seasonally softer slaughter rates for sheep can be expected in the coming weeks as producers continue the rebuild. The usual seasonal dip in lamb slaughter through winter is not expected to occur this year as processors work through a backlog of supply which is keeping them booked out until July.

Goat slaughter has been easing over the last six weeks, recording 5,870 less head week-on-week as NSW and Victoria fall away in their contribution. Producers are looking to rebuild their numbers as good rainfall increases feed on ground.