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Weekly sheep, cattle and goat wrap

22 July 2022

Key points:

  • Sheep and lamb indicators ease across the board, especially in restocker and Merino lambs.
  • Buyers take advantage of easing prices with a further softening in the EYCI.
  • Roma store and Dalby yardings increased again this week with good quality stock being presented.

This week’s market movers

  • Heavy steers strengthened 64¢ week-on-week
  • Medium steers eased 46¢ week-on-week
  • Restocker lambs eased 106¢ week-on-week
  • Merino lambs eased 111¢ week-on-week

Indicators

Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI)

The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) has eased 24¢ week-on-week to 954.14¢/kg cwt, with a majority of sales going to restockers. The percentage going to restockers has increased nearly 10% week-on-week with most of the sales coming out of Roma. Processors haven’t been extremely active, even though prices have dropped under 800¢/kg cwt.

Roma’s yardings increased by 2,451 head on Tuesday, with most of the cattle coming from the local area and being of quite good quality. This increase in yardings could be due to a backlog of supply with rain in the last month. The higher quality allowed them to trade at a 50¢ premium on the national average for the EYCI, while the number of restocker sales increased by 1,717 head with prices improving 3.96¢ week-on-week.

Together, Roma and Dalby comprise 50% of the EYCI with yardings up 20% week-on-week. Dubbo numbers have also bounced back and are now being included in the EYCI. Meanwhile, at Roma, Tamworth and Armidale, cattle were able to be secured for over $10/kg.  An increase in yardings could be due to the beginning of the financial year as numbers held back at the end of June now come through the yards.

Sheep and lamb indicators

This week, sheep and lamb prices have eased across the board. Restocker lambs have eased 106¢ week-on-week with yardings also softening 1,000 head through the indicator.

This could be in anticipation of a glut of lambs moving through the market after favorable seasonal conditions, with easing pricing come increasing sentiments to ‘wait and see’ what prices are going to do in the coming weeks.

The only saleyard to trade at a premium this week was Forbes, which traded at 871.23¢/kg cwt with a 14% contribution. Ballarat, the largest contributor to the indicator, was trading at the national average.

Meanwhile, Wagga Wagga still had a strong yarding of 48,500 head for this time of year. This is up 18% on this time last year with an increase in extra heavy lambs. In the last three years, there has been a jump in extra heavy lamb numbers during this time, although mixed quality is still causing some price disparity.

Interestingly, there has been a 246% increase week-on-week in young lamb yardings as the seasonal supply lifts.

Slaughter

Cattle slaughter is back this week, reaching just above year ago levels at 98,755 head. Female slaughter is up 4.3% from this time last month, reaching 43.3%. This figure is still below the official rebuild cut off of 47%, indicating that the herd rebuild continues.

Sheep slaughter lifted slightly this week to 57,515 head, up 3.7% week-on-week. In the coming weeks, this number is expected to increase as lambing comes to an end and producers sell off their older sheep for mutton.

In line with the trend this year – but particularly during the past month – goat slaughter has further increased 14.8% week-on-week.

Sales update

Inverell cattle and sheep markets were not reported this week.