Short trading weeks see lamb prices ease

20 April 2017

As we approach the end of the second of three short trading weeks, lamb supply reached 155,059 head across the eastern states – around 50,000 head more week-on-week. With most selling centres not operating leading into Easter and with the four day week this week and next, lamb supply and prices are expected to be somewhat volatile for the remainder of April.

Demand from the processing sector eased, as to be expected when trading weeks are short, while restockers were also less active. Lamb quality however, has not wavered with most trade and heavy lambs offered throughout NSW and Victoria supplementary fed.

At the conclusion of Thursday’s markets:

  • Eastern states restocker lambs were the only indicator to gain ground this week, up 24¢ week-on-week, to 782¢/kg cwt – exceeding the previous record (778¢) set in early April
  • Merino lambs eased 25¢ to 592¢, while light lambs decreased 29¢ to 661¢/kg cwt
  • The Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator (ESTLI) slipped 20¢ this week, to 667¢/kg cwt
  • The heavy lamb indicator was 23¢ lower at 649¢/kg cwt

As the impacts from the consecutive short trading weeks subside, and markets resume their usual routine, prices are expected to remain at a higher level than where they were the same time last year. Indeed, the dry forecast could cause prices to ease during winter, albeit from near record highs.

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