WA lamb prices outpace year-ago levels

30 May 2017

During May, Western Australian (WA) saleyard lamb indicators have continued to exceed year-ago levels – similar to the eastern states.

In the lead up to May, rainfall for the previous three months (February to April) was above-average across most of the state. These favourable seasonal conditions have helped to support saleyard prices and spur restocker activity.

Saleyard lamb numbers jumped during May, with average weekly throughput 72% higher year-on-year, at 21,077 head. On the other hand, average weekly lamb slaughter has eased 7% year-on-year, to 48,887 head.

In the last week of May, the majority of WA lamb indicators reached levels not seen since 2011.

  • The WA restocker lamb indicator for May averaged 549¢, 88¢/kg cwt higher year-on-year
  • Merino lambs settled on 591¢, while light lambs averaged 621¢ in May – both up more than 110¢/kg cwt
  • The WA trade lamb indicator increased 128¢, to average 621¢/kg cwt
  • The heavy lamb indicator was 117¢ higher year-on-year, at 603¢/kg cwt

Higher mutton prices are also enticing producers to sell stock through the saleyards. The WA mutton indicator in May averaged 434¢/kg cwt. Mutton processing remains slow, with average weekly mutton slaughter down 32% from the same time last year, at 17,124 head. 

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