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Changes to MLA’s market reporting

15 May 2020

From Monday 18 May, MLA’s Livestock Market Officers (LMOs) are able to visit saleyards to conduct on-site market reporting if they choose to do so.

MLA’s COVID-19 response team has been closely assessing the options for LMOs to attend markets, ensuring there are a number of processes in place to ensure their health and safety is protected. LMOs may continue to report remotely if they choose to do so.

LMOs have been working remotely since 25 March when MLA closed all offices (apart from China) to support global containment efforts of COVID-19.

The decision for LMOs to return to saleyards has been made by MLA after close examination of the direction from the Australian and state governments and health authorities.

To support their return to saleyards, MLA has developed protocols to protect the health and safety of LMOs which are in line with protocols currently in place in saleyards nationally. These protocols are supported by the Australian Livestock Markets Association (ALMA) and the Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association (ALPA).

The option for LMOs to return to saleyards will be reviewed if local COVID-19 cases emerge or there are changes to the direction from government and health authorities.

Impact on reporting

The full suite of MLA’s market reporting will resume when conditions return to normal – when all LMOs have returned to saleyards and all saleyards covered by the national indicators are operational.

MLA is unable to indicate the precise timing of this given the fluid nature of COVID-19 – but will communicate to Australia’s red meat and livestock stakeholders as soon as market reporting will return to normal.

Until conditions return to normal, cattle and sheep indicators will remain unavailable (the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator, National Trade Lamb Indicator and the indicator charts/tools/values across the MLA webpages won’t be updated). In the meantime, MLA will continue to issue its CV19 cattle and CV19 sheep market indicators (which are comparable but distinct in specification to the regular national indicators).

Full versions of physical cattle, store cattle and sheep saleyard reports will be available for saleyards which are physically attended by an LMO. 

Modified versions of physical cattle, store cattle and sheep saleyard reports will continue to be available for saleyards not attended by an LMO (muscle score, fat score, estimated CWT price and skin values won’t be available).

Name of report Status of report What has changed
Physical cattle saleyard market report (detailed version) Modified For sales where the Livestock Market Officer cannot visually assess the animal, the following data will be temporarily unavailable*:
  • muscle score
  • fat score
  • estimated CWT price
Physical sheep saleyard market report (detailed version) Modified For sales where the Livestock Market Officer cannot visually assess the animal, the following will be temporarily unavailable*:
  • fat score
  • estimated CWT price
  • skin values
Store cattle saleyard market report Modified For sales where the Livestock Market Officer cannot visually assess the animal, the following will be temporarily unavailable*:
  • muscle score
  • fat score
Physical sheep saleyard market report (media version) Suspended For sales where the Livestock Market Officer cannot visually assess the animal, this report will be temporarily unavailable*
EYCI daily summary report Suspended Report is suspended
Eastern states daily indicator (ESDI) report Suspended Report is suspended
Comprehensive indicator report Suspended Report is suspended

Cattle market price indicators (CV19) – national

Access the indicators here

New Provides modified versions of the following indicators:
  • Feeder Steer
  • Medium Cow
  • Medium Steer
  • Heavy Steer
  • Vealer Steer
  • Yearling Steer

Sheep market price indicators (CV19) – national

Access the indicators here

New Provides three new unique indicators:
  • Processor Lamb
  • Restocker Lamb
  • Mutton
All use average state-level monthly estimates of carcase prices calculated from the past five years.

*may change across location and weeks

Other market information services

MLA’s Market Information service will continue, the information published on the MLA website under the following sections will continue:

MLA’s subscription services will continue. Market reports and indicators will differ as highlighted above. All other subscription services will remain unchanged.

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