Beyond the saleyards: Sheep prices remain stable while cattle herd grows

Rob KellyCountryman
Rob Kelly is the founder and managing director of LIVEstock Pricing.
Camera IconRob Kelly is the founder and managing director of LIVEstock Pricing. Credit: Countryman

WA sheep prices remained stable week on week, with $8.30/kg the price to beat for lambs and $6.10/kg for mutton.

Nationally, there has been weakness to the sheep price as processor throughput remains far below where it was at the end of 2021.

The current national wool Eastern Market Indicator is 1407¢/kg, an upwards revision on the week prior.

However, with the AUD depreciating approximately 3 per cent in the month of January, the EMI in USD terms closed lower.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


MLA released its quarterly cattle industry projections which outlined the national herd is expected to grow by 1.1 million and slaughter numbers are forecast to rise 11 per cent in 2022.

This was encouraged by the Bureau of Meteorology predicting above-average rainfall for the coming three months in the key cattle regions of NSW and Queensland.

Cattle prices however saw some weakness with processors passing on the effects of COVID-induced staffing difficulties into pricing. Queensland processors were the first to move lower but have been followed by NSW and potentially by South Australian prices after a large processor was this week banned from exporting to the Chinese market.

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

  • WA Angus weaners (liveweight): steers 640¢, heifers 570¢.
  • East coast processor prices: MSA: steers 765¢, heifers 760¢. Cows 700¢. Jap Ox: steers 730¢, Bulls 550¢.
  • Queensland feedlots: Black Angus: 630¢, Black Angus British X: 620¢, Wagyu X Angus: POA.
  • NSW feedlots (steers): Brahman/ Brahman X 500¢, Feeder steers 0-2T 540¢.

To contact buyers and for more price information please login to the Agora Livestock Markets app or online at agoralivestock.com.au.

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.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails