Beyond the Saleyards — Lamb and sheep continue to ease

Rob KellyCountryman

WA lamb and sheep spot markets continued to ease last week, with buyers continuing to lower hook prices.

With supplies hitting the market, processing space is becoming limited in the near-term.

To continue booking stock up, buyers have released 800¢ forward lamb contracts for December and January to try to encourage farmers to hold stock.

On the east coast, prices have been relatively stable.

Lambs are still bid over 900¢ and mutton at 700¢. We’re also starting to see some more niche buyers enter the market at a larger scale.

Lightweight, grass-fed, antibiotic and hormone-free lambs are bid over 900¢.

These are flowing directly to domestic consumers, avoiding traditional retail supply chains.

The wool market eased 33¢ with weaker Chinese demand, closing last week at 1333¢.

Goat prices were stable, with bids on the east holding around 1000¢ over-the-hook for smaller buyers and 950¢ for larger operators.

Cattle markets spent another week on the rampage. Feedlots are well above 600¢ live-weight for Angus steers and 500¢ for other breeds.

Saleyard prices also continue to hurt the buy side of the market. The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator closed last week at 1065¢.

Processor and feedlot market bids at the start of the week (¢/kg or $/head):

  • East coast processor prices: MSA: steers 800¢, heifers 795¢, cows 750¢. Jap Ox: steers 710¢, heifers 705¢. Cows 730¢. Bulls 550¢.
  • Queensland feedlots: Black Angus: 610¢, Black Angus British X: 590¢, Wagyu X Angus: POA.
  • Queensland export orders: Feeder steers 380¢, slaughter steers 360¢. Feeder bulls 360¢, heifers 375¢, cows 290¢.
  • NSW feedlots (steers): British, Euro X, Flat Back: 465¢, XB 445¢, Black Angus; 620¢.

Full price grids and details for all these orders are available in the LIVEstock Pricing app and online.

Rob Kelly is the Founder and managing director of LIVEstock Pricing, a free service with the latest sheep, cattle and goat price grids in one easy-to-use app.

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