Goat, lamb and cattle markets almost level pegging

31 May 2016


Surging goat prices, a belated autumnal lamb price rise and a consolidating cattle market during May led to all three of the key eastern market indicators averaging within just 3% of each other for the first time ever.

The eastern states over-the-hook (OTH) goat indicator has been the real mover of late, benefiting from growing demand outstripping supplies. The 8.1-10 kg OTH indicator averaged 550¢/kg cwt in May, a new record high for the sixteenth consecutive month, and bringing the indicator into the realms of its beef and lamb counterparts for the first time.

Further assisting the goat market over the period of its extraordinary rise has been increased value to the emerging export markets, while at the same time growth has been maintained to the largest market, the US. The simultaneously weakening A$ over the past few years has also been of great benefit to the export dominated goat industry.

After struggling to lift early in the autumn months, the Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator (ESTLI) increased to 550¢/kg cwt during May, but was still down 4% year-on-year. While the market kicked on the back of widespread southern rainfall over the month, it had struggled earlier in the year as a result of hot and dry conditions, combined with somewhat sluggish export values.

The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) maintained its 2016 position as the dearest of the three indicators, averaging 567.25¢/kg during May. Like the lamb equivalent, widespread rainfall and the softening A$ reversed the downward trend that began in April.

The unusual situation with all three species price indicators within just 3% of each other could be maintained for the winter months, especially if the positive three month rainfall outlook comes to fruition and the availability of stock remains tight.  

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