Eastern states lamb slaughter lifts

06 December 2016

Typically at this time of year, in the lead up to the Christmas break, lamb slaughter increases, with the influx of lambs on the market in the southern states largely attributing to the rise in kill levels. Last week, eastern states lamb slaughter reached 391,817 head, around 2,000 head higher week-on-week and up 2% year-on-year.

NSW lamb slaughter lifted 16% year-on-year, to 113,938 head last week, with reports of increased numbers coming from further north. Slaughter levels in Victoria increased 9% year-on-year, to 193,500 head – the state’s second largest weekly kill since January, with processors keen to secure the increased numbers of lambs being offered at saleyards in the west of the state.  SA slaughter, however, eased 17% year-on-year, to 72,492 head.

This week, NSW over-the-hook lamb indicators declined from the previous week, with trade weight (18-22kg cwt) lambs ranging from 490¢ to a top of 530¢, while heavy weight lines (22-26kg cwt) averaged 518¢/kg cwt.

Victorian over-the-hook indicators were somewhat able to resist the increase in supply both at the saleyards and at processing facilities, with light and trade weight lamb indicators higher week-on-week. Trade weight lambs averaged 560¢, while heavy weights ranged from 490¢ to 520¢/kg cwt. 

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