Market watch: WA

17 October 2018


The WA Trade Lamb Indicator has remained close to year-ago levels for the majority of the year. At the conclusion of last week, the indicator averaged 573¢/kg carcase weight (cwt), down 134¢/kg from the peak seen in August but in line with the typical seasonal decline through spring.

Similarly, the WA Mutton indicator has remained higher year-on-year, averaging 357¢/kg at the conclusion of last week –  27¢/kg up on last year. Mutton saleyard throughput in recent months has been below 2017 levels, totalling 2,041 head last week, compared with over 5,800 head in the same week last year and lending support to prices.

Why August? Need to explain

WA weekly lamb slaughter has remained above 2017 levels since early September, totalling almost 218,000 head for the month – up 39% year-on-year. Spring usually sees an increase in supply; however, this year has seen an even more pronounced spike.

In contrast, September WA sheep slaughter has eased from the same time last year, totalling just over 121,000 head – a decrease of 24% year-on-year.


The WA Young Cattle Indicator (WYCI) reached 559.25¢/kg cwt on Monday (15 October), surpassing 2017 prices for only the fifth time this year. The WYCI has also been trading at a premium to the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) for much of the year, as dry conditions have generally seen prices ease across the eastern seaboard.

For more information check out the weekly WA summary report.

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