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Lamb and mutton markets

24 June 2021

Key points:

  • Feeder lambs in southern markets continue to be in strong demand as buyers look to establish valuable supply lines prior to the spring flush
  • Mutton yardings continue to soften, with lambs dominating more market volumes by the week during the traditional winter lull
  • This softer mutton supply may place upward pressure on prices as international demand continues to firm.

Lamb sales this week

CVLX Ballarat

  • Lamb yardings softened at Ballarat on Tuesday by 1,240 head. Softer supply meant the lamb price lifted 19¢ to average 832¢/kg cwt, or $189/head.
  • There were 3,032 feeder lambs yarded, an increase of 244 head week-on-week. The draft averaged 18kg, with the increased supply met by higher demand, lifting the price 15¢ to average 877¢/kg cwt.
  • Feeder lambs received the highest average price of the lambs yarded at Ballarat on Tuesday.

Forbes

  • An increased supply of 2,288 Merino lambs at Forbes on Tuesday also delivered more demand, driving the average price higher by 17¢, to finish at 729¢/kg cwt, or $181/head.
    • These lambs averaged 23kg cwt, 1kg heavier than the week prior.
  • Dorper lambs lifted $15, also with increased supply, finishing the week at $197/head and averaging a healthy 24.9kg cwt.

Naracoorte

  • Young lambs at Naracoorte increased in supply by 15%, or 727 head.
  • Restocker lambs were the winners, softening in supply to drive the price 79¢ higher and finish the week at 944¢/kg cwt.
    • Rain across the supply region has driven producers back to the market to secure supply, following a favourable – and for some, needed – autumn break.
  • It was a dearer market across the board, with processor lambs also lifting in price, averaging 23kg cwt and 817¢/kg cwt, to make $193/head.

Katanning

  • Softer processor supply increased by 29%, or 307 head, with prices lifting $8 week-on-week to average $151/head. The draft weighed 19kg lighter across the board.
  • Restocker Merinos decreased in supply by 942 head. The softer supply also met softer demand, with the average price falling 8¢ to finish the week at 717¢/kg cwt, or $114/head.

Mutton

Muchea

  • A softer yarding of Merinos at Muchea also impacted price – the category fell 41¢ week-on-week to average 575¢/kg cwt.

Cowra

  • Merinos outperformed their first cross counterparts at Cowra on Wednesday, receiving an average premium on a per head basis of $21.
    • The first cross types lifted on average by 80¢ on the back of softer supply to finish the week at 655¢/kg cwt, weighing a healthy 27kg cwt.

CTLX Carcoar

  • Softer first cross supply of mutton at Carcoar on Wednesday saw prices also ease by 25¢/kg. The draft averaged a very healthy 30kg cwt and finished the week at $193, $4/head better week-on-week.

SELX Yass

  • Merinos at Yass on Wednesday performed strongly – the yarding fell by 57% and with this softer supply, merino mutton lifted in price by 66¢ to finish at 689¢/kg cwt.

The run down

It is evident softer mutton supply across all supply regions is becoming more apparent as winter continues to roll on, with lambs dominating most yardings. This tighter supply may continue to place upward pressure on prices, with international demand from key nations also holding firm or increasing.

© Meat & Livestock Australia Limited, 2021