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Weekly sheep and cattle market wrap

17 June 2022

Key points:

  • Stronger yardings in Roma and Dalby have contributed 25% to the EYCI, easing the indicator.
  • The medium cow indicator eased this week with lighter yardings.
  • Light lamb prices eased with mixed quality moving through the yards.
  • A slight dip in sheep and lamb slaughter has occurred as joining and lambing begins.

Indicators

The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) has eased week-on-week with yardings improving by 2,300 head for the indicator. Together, Roma and Dalby contributed 25%, trading 34¢ above and 25¢ under the national average respectively. The largest premium was found at Singleton, which recorded 58¢ above the national average of 1,120.48¢.

The loss of Monday sales in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia reduced reporting from Dubbo, Forbes, Pakenham, Wagga, Tamworth, Mortlake, Bendigo and Corowa. This may impact the indicators as Wagga Wagga and Dubbo cattle sales usually contribute around 15% to the EYCI each week. The larger yardings at Dalby and Roma have offset the reporting numbers in the indicator but have also reduced the spread of prices such as those seen in Wagga Wagga, which has been trading at a premium.

Over in the west, the Western Young Cattle Indicator (WYCI) has bounced back after the Mt Barker sale on Thursday with a 67¢ premium on the indicator average. Stronger yardings from both WA sales has caused the WYCI to ease slightly week-on-week by 3¢, after Muchea traded at 180¢ under the average.

Meanwhile, the medium cow indicator has eased 13¢ week-on-week. The largest contribution came from Charters Towers, which was only trading 1.1¢ over the national average. Blackall, the third highest contributor, was trading 27¢ under the national average on Thursday after a price correction from last week. Prices in Blackall for medium cows eased 20¢ week-on-week as high prices could not be maintained.

Sheep

Restocker lamb prices continue to ease. Ballarat, which contributed just under 50%, traded 66¢ above the national average this week. Yardings decreased as more of the seconds moved through the saleyard, with the mixed quality from some lambs showing signs of the winter conditions.

Light lamb prices have also eased 50¢ week-on-week of the back of the premiums in Wagga Wagga and Ballarat. The plainer conditions of the lambs through the saleyards improves the competition for the higher quality stock. This is to be expected at this time of year with the seasonal dip in yardings and producers looking to sell off lambs before they cut their teeth.

Over the hooks, sheep prices are at the lowest they have been all year, reaching 504.67¢/kg cwt. This is a 20¢ easing month-on-month.

Slaughter

Cattle slaughter remained firm this week as expected with some slaughter being held back for the end of the financial year.

Sheep slaughter has eased 22% week-on-week following the seasonal dip with joining and lambing.

Lamb slaughter has only eased slightly to 396,112 head, remaining above levels from the last two years as processors work through a backlog of livestock.

Next week, slaughter numbers are expected to ease with a public holiday impacting slaughter in several states.