Rain prompts lift in sheep and lamb prices

26 June 2015

Eastern states lamb supply, reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service, was firm week-on-week, at 136,959 head. Widespread rain last week may have helped lift sentiment and encouraged producers to retain lambs for longer.

While last week’s rain deterred restocker buyers, and resulted in a decline in the eastern states restocker lamb indicator, it recovered this week, gaining 29¢ at the conclusion of Thursday’s markets to 559¢/kg cwt. Merino lambs were 30¢ higher on 557¢, while light lambs lifted 21¢ to 575¢/kg cwt. The Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator (ESTLI) and the heavy lamb indicator increased 25¢ and 20¢, respectively, to both finish on 598¢/kg cwt.

Eastern states sheep throughput eased 19% week-on-week, to 40,736 head. Since the middle of May, sheep offerings have been steadily declining, with turnoff hovering around 40,000 to 50,000 head most weeks. Although this is typical for winter, the contraction in numbers has occurred slightly earlier compared to last year. The reduced supply saw the mutton indicator lift 17¢ to 404¢/kg cwt – its highest level since September 2011.

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