Strong opening for indicators in 2021
14 January 2021
• The National Restocker Lamb Indicator has opened strong, at 254¢/kg cwt above the same week last year
• The National Mutton Indicator continues to track above 600¢/kg cwt
• The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) opened the year strong, at 830¢/kg cwt.
Meat and Livestock Australia’s (MLA) Market Information and NLRS reports have resumed for the year, with national indicators opening strongly.
National sheep indicators lift well above year-ago levels
The National Restocker Lamb Indicator opened 2021 at 954¢/kg carcase weight (cwt), up 254¢/kg cwt on the same week last year. After good rainfall across New South Wales towards the end of 2020 and into the new year, greater opportunity exists now to capitalise on available feed and increase stocking rates. Top prices for restocker lambs were paid at Tamworth, Yass and Wagga Wagga.
The National Mutton Indicator also opened strongly at 602¢/kg cwt, close to where it finished in the final reporting week of last year. Mutton prices remain historically high, with offshore demand holding firm, compounded by continuing tight supplies. For the opening week of 2020, the indicator averaged 540¢/kg cwt, 47¢/kg cwt lower than its opening this year.
National Heavy and Light Lamb Indicators both opened stronger than last year, up 100¢/kg and 148¢/kg to sit at 835¢/kg cwt and 879¢/kg cwt, respectively. Heavy lamb supply was buoyed by grassfed production last year, with higher numbers of finished lambs expected to move through the supply chain in the first half of 2021. The supply of lighter lambs tapered off in the final quarter of 2020, as greater feed availability encouraged longer feed times for heavier weights. Subsequently, the Light Lamb Indicator has continued to hold a premium to heavy lambs.
Cattle market moves from strength to strength
The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) was reported at 830¢/kg cwt in the first reporting week of 2021, up 325¢/kg cwt on the same week last year. Buyer competition, combined with tight supplies, has continued to put upwards pressure on the young cattle market. Recent rainfall has offered reprieve to much of the eastern mainland, with restocker buyers looking to source supplies to increase stocking rates, while feeder buyers look to increase backgrounder inventories.
Heavy steers have started off the year at 374¢/kg live weight (lwt), up 95¢/kg lwt on the same week last year. While opening strong, the indicator has come off the boil since the highs seen throughout November last year.
© Meat & Livestock Australia Limited, 2021