Trade lambs push higher earlier this year

16 June 2016

The Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator (ESTLI) lifted above 600¢ briefly last week, and has taken on an upward trajectory this week, finishing Thursday on 610¢/kg cwt – up 11¢/kg cwt week-on-week. While the rise is typical for winter, the ESTLI breached the 600¢ mark around two weeks earlier than it did last year.  

The shorter trading week impacted supply, with eastern states lamb yardings down 3% week-on-week, to 139,308 head. Eastern states lamb slaughter tightened 5% last week, to 329,210 head.

Reduced saleyard throughput and direct-to-works supply, as well as wetter conditions across the key producing regions, have supported prices, although restocker buyers remain cautious as the normal unknown of when the spring flush will begin is front of mind.

The heavy lamb indicator was up 6¢ week-on-week, to 613¢/kg cwt, while the eastern states restocker lambindicator declined 39¢, to 594¢/kg cwt. Merino lambs eased 4¢, to 558¢/kg cwt, while light lambs gained 3¢, to settle on 587¢/kg cwt.

The prospect of another wet weekend ahead may assist prices to remain buoyant, however, typical for this time of year, some processing facilities are currently, or soon will be, taking their annual maintenance breaks.

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