Mutton prices surge in 2016-17

04 July 2017

Strong producer intent to retain ewes in an already tight supply market, as well as high lamb and wool prices, saw national mutton prices boom over the last 12 months. For the 2016-17 fiscal year, the national mutton indicator averaged 419¢/kg cwt – 128¢ higher than the five-year average.

Across the country:                                                                                                                       

  • The Victorian mutton indicator recorded the highest average for 2016-17 across the states, on 444¢, 106¢/kg cwt higher year-on-year
  • NSW followed, with the average for the fiscal year at 423¢, up 83¢/kg cwt year-on-year
  • The mutton indicator in SA increased 101¢, to 405¢/kg cwt
  • In the west, WA  mutton prices reached levels unseen since 2010-11 fiscal year, with the state’s indicator averaging 350¢/kg cwt in 2016-17

The overall shortage of slaughter-available stock and the marked rise in mutton prices proved a challenge for processing facilities. Average weekly mutton slaughter across the eastern states for 2016-17 was 17% lower than the previous 12 months, on 90,681 head. Furthermore, national average saleyard throughput for the fiscal year eased 8%, to average 65,003 head per week for the year ending June 2017. 

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