New season lamb supply spikes
05 December 2018
The supply of new season lambs had a slower than usual start to the season this year, with drought conditions delaying the usual spring flush.
However, over the last few weeks there has been an increase in the quantity of new season lambs offered at saleyards in Victoria, particularly, with 114,000 head offered last week, up from 92,000 the week before.
Victoria’s lamb saleyard throughput has been tracking reasonably close to 2017 levels this year, down 8% year-on-year. The graph below shows a delay of approximately one week as supply ramps up towards the end of the year.
Meanwhile, supply of new season lambs in NSW has been much more restricted, down 19% or 236,000 head year-on-year. November 2018 saw a very slight rise in throughput, up 2% on October, however November is down 1% year-on-year.
Monthly saleyard throughput:
Hamilton (VIC): November – 166,316 lambs – a ten-fold increase from October
Ballarat (VIC): November – 156,067 head– up 26% month-on-month
Bendigo (VIC): November – 88,000 head – down 30%
Wagga (NSW): November – 176,625 head - up 46%
While supply has increased rapidly over the last month, prices have stayed relatively stable considering the fluctuations that have become the norm this season. At the end of November, the Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator (ESTLI) was 684¢/kg cwt – down 27¢/kg cwt from the beginning of the month. The market appears to be in somewhat of a holding pattern as some rain has fallen – although not enough to make a significant difference.
As has been the case for most of the last four months, the eastern states heavy lamb indicator was trading at a premium to the trade weight lambs at the beginning of this week, up 10¢ at 698¢/kg cwt on Monday. The restocker lamb indicator has strengthened compared to the heavier weights to finish at 708¢/kg cwt on Monday.
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