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Australian Lamb Prices Dip as Demand Eases

10 July 2014
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIAN - With winter well underway across large areas of the eastern states in Australia and icy conditions expected at the close of the week, eastern states lamb supply, as reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service (NLRS), eased three per cent week-on-week.

The flock at 150,123 head, is eight per cent lower than the corresponding week last year.

Meat and livestock Australia said that earlier sales, such as Bendigo and Dubbo, saw rises in yardings, however, by mid-week supply had generally eased across the majority of markets.

The larger numbers at Dubbo saleyard this week (34,500 head) were reportedly due to a back log of direct-to-works lambs, leaving producers with no option but to saleyard sell.

Over-the-hook trade weight (18-22kg cwt) lamb rates in NSW and Victoria this week again topped at 620¢/kg cwt, a trend shown for a number of weeks now. Typical for this time of year, a couple of processing facilities have taken the opportunity to close for scheduled maintenance breaks, with buying activity at the saleyards weakening as a result. Indicative eastern states lamb slaughter levels this week continued to hover around 329,918 head, remaining 2% lower year-on-year.

At the conclusion of Thursdays markets the eastern states restocker lamb indicator was 19¢ lower week-on-week, at 493¢/kg cwt. Merino lambs eased 4¢ to 520¢/kg cwt, while light lambs decreased 22¢ to 514¢/kg cwt.

The Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator continues to track well above 500¢, at 558¢/kg cwt, while heavy lambs slipped 22¢ to settle on 566¢/kg cwt.

Eastern states sheep supply increased 15 per centweek-on-week, at 50,391 head, with slight rises across all states. Demand this week was largely affected by the lack of processor buyers, with lack of weight and quality also contributing factors, especially at this time of year. Consequently, the eastern states mutton indicator was 28¢ lower week-on-week, at 351¢/kg cwt.

Whilst there was a dip across the saleyard indicator categories this week, they are still higher year-on-year, while direct-to-works rates also remain very strong.

TheSheepSite News Desk