Market watch: NSW sheepmeat

27 June 2018

NSW has experienced an extended dry period this year, with large parts of the state seeing the onset of drought, while some areas are declared drought-stricken according to NSW DPI.

Last week, MLA reported saleyards in NSW saw a total of 116,437 lambs yarded, up considerably on the previous week (due to the Queen’s Birthday public holiday), although back 13% on year-ago levels.

Saleyard indicators have lifted to above 2017 levels at the beginning of this week (25 June), after tracking lower since April. The NSW trade lamb indicator reached 670¢/kg carcase weight (cwt) on Monday, the highest it has been since 9 January.

Notably, at the Forbes sale this week, a pen of lambs sold for $260/head, the highest $/head price on record for NLRS reported markets, selling to the equivalent of 694¢/kg cwt. The NSW mutton indicator opened this week at 510¢/kg, surpassing the 500¢ mark for the first time since June last year.

For the year-to-date, lamb and sheep slaughter in NSW has been higher year-on-year, with the extremely dry conditions driving increased turn-off. Last week (ending 22 June), NSW lamb slaughter reached almost 112,000 head, up 9% on year-ago levels, bringing the year-to-date total to just over 2.65 million head, an 11% increase on the same period last year. Sheep slaughter across the state totalled just over 55,000 head last week, up 49% year-on-year, which saw the year-to-date total to 1.28 million head, up 38% on the same period last year.

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