Rain does little to hamper saleyard lamb supply

28 September 2016

Despite widespread, and in some parts very heavy, rain across most parts of the eastern states, the approaching long weekend saw saleyard numbers increase during the first half of this week.

A greater supply of young lambs marketed were recorded at all major selling centres, compared to last week, although still only accounting for around half what was offered the same time last year. In NSW, throughput at Dubbo and Corowa almost doubled week-on-week, while in Victoria and SA, Ballarat, Naracoorte and the SA Livestock Exchange all yarded higher numbers.

This week, processors accounted for 73% of eastern states young lamb saleyard purchases, while restockers accounted for 9% – around 10% lower than the corresponding week last year.

Conversely, eastern states lamb slaughter (for week ending 23 September) declined to 315,677 head – down 8% week-on-week and 9% lower than the five-year average (345,635 head).

Lamb over-the-hook indicators have remained somewhat steady over the past few weeks, with Victorian trade weight young lambs reaching a high of 620¢, while trade weight young lambs in NSW topped at 610¢/kg cwt.

After the October long weekend, lamb saleyard supply typically continues to gather momentum until Christmas. However, the prolonged wet conditions may restrict stock movement in some areas and, furthermore, the abundance of feed may see producers carry lambs on to heavier weights over the next few months.

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