Slaughter rises, prices waver

25 July 2017

Eastern states lamb slaughter at the conclusion of last week totalled 330,968 head, 19% higher year-on-year and remains 3% higher than the five year average (321,866 head).

Average weekly saleyard turnoff for July so far has eased year-on-year, to 132,673 head. 

Looking at the same time last year, ‘above average’ rainfall was recorded across most of the key supply regions and saleyard lamb prices were higher than where they are now, enticing producers.  In contrast, July 2017 paints a very different picture, with ‘below average’ rainfall conditions across the majority of the country. This has seen more stock turned off direct-to-works, and downward pressure on most lamb saleyard indicators.  

At the conclusion of yesterday’s markets:

  • The eastern states restocker lamb indicator was 113¢ higher week-on-week, to 683¢/kg cwt. Restocker lambs remain 156¢/kg above year-ago levels.
  • Merino lambs eased 19¢ from last week and 16¢ year-on-year, to 545¢/kg cwt
  • Light lambs slipped 21¢ week-on-week, but remained 31¢ higher year-on-year, on 577¢/kg cwt
  • The Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator (ESTLI) decreased 16¢ week-on-week and was 8¢ lower year-on-year to average 604¢/kg cwt
  • The heavy lamb indicator was 9¢ lower than last week, and fell 23¢ year-on-year, to 605¢/kg cwt

Prices over the remainder of winter will be largely dependent on whether or not timely rain is received before the spring lamb flush. 

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