Market watch: Tasmania

06 June 2018

Although some parts of Tasmania experienced above average rainfall during May (while the majority of the mainland recorded a very dry month), Tasmanian saleyard indicators have followed a similar trend to their mainland counterparts – easing year-on-year.

Cattle

Saleyard indicators

The Tasmanian trade steer indicator averaged 185¢/kg live weight (lwt) for May, back 14% on the same May last year. The medium cow saleyard indicator saw a similar trend, averaging 180¢/kg lwt in April, back 22% on the same period last year. The indicator has tracked mostly below year-ago levels since October 2016.

Northern Tasmanian cattle saleyard throughput has decreased 43% year-on-year, totalling 2,170 head for the year-to-date (29 May), with producers reportedly opting to sell direct-to-works.

Slaughter

Tasmanian adult cattle slaughter totalled close to 5,000 head last week (ending 1 June), up 4% from year-ago levels. The total for the year-to-date has also increased, up 8% year-on-year, at just over 90,000 head.

Over-the-hook (OTH) indicators have eased considerably from 2017 levels, with the trade steer indicator reaching 447¢/kg carcase weight (cwt) this week and the medium cow indicator averaging 375¢/kg cwt this week – 87¢ and 68¢ lower than the corresponding period last year, respectively.

Sheep

Saleyard indicators

The Tasmanian trade lamb indicator has tracked below year-ago levels for much of 2018, reaching 560¢/kg cwt on 24 May, back 11% on year-ago levels. While the mutton indicator has increased since the beginning of the year, it is also tracking below year-ago levels, reaching 489¢/kg cwt on 24 May, back 10% from the same time last year. Saleyard throughput has decreased 12% year-on-year, totalling 44,635 head for the year-to-date (29 May).

Slaughter

Last week, Tasmanian lamb slaughter reached just over 9,100 head at the conclusion of last week (1 June). While this was 26% higher year-on-year, the total for the year-to-date decreased 14% on 2017 levels, totalling 161,748 head.

Sheep slaughter reached almost 1,700 head at the conclusion of last week (1 June), tracking close to year-ago levels. Tasmania has processed 49,647 head of sheep for the year-to-date, down 8% year-on-year.

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