Lamb prices head south

15 October 2015

The return to a full trading week saw lamb supply, reported by MLA, increase 25% week-on-week, to 191,981 head. With hot and dry conditions forecast to continue across the eastern states, and direct-to-works supplies reportedly sufficient, prices headed south this week, with some categories falling below year-ago levels.

Restockers were able to capitalise on the lower saleyard prices – mainly at NSW centres where some good feed can be found. While in Victoria, restocker demand remains limited as the season continues to deteriorate.

Last week, eastern states weekly lamb slaughter was the highest it’s been since the beginning of May, at 376,758 head, despite the public holiday in some states. This was attributed to Victorian kill levels lifting to 19,733 head – the highest level since mid-April.

At the conclusion of Thursday’s markets:

  • The eastern states restocker lamb indicator was 19¢ lower week-on-week, at 509¢, however was 33¢/kg cwt stronger year-on-year.
  • The Merino lamb indicator was 62¢ cheaper on 384¢/kg cwt
  • Light lambs slipped 39¢ to settle on 426¢/kg cwt
  • The Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator (ESTLI) eased 26¢ on last week’s levels, to 469¢, although up 9¢/kg cwt year-on-year
  • The heavy lamb indicator slipped 22¢ to average 466¢, but up 9¢/kg cwt on year-ago levels
  • The mutton indicator decreased 13¢ to settle on 282¢, to be back 8¢/kg cwt year-on-year.

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