Beyond the Saleyards: Sheep shortage turns to oversupply

Rob KellyCountryman
Agora Livestock provides a free service with the latest sheep, cattle and goat price grids in one easy-to-use app.
Camera IconAgora Livestock provides a free service with the latest sheep, cattle and goat price grids in one easy-to-use app. Credit: Countryman

In sheep markets, the situation has quickly shifted from a lack of available stock to a large oversupply.

With many farmers who held lambs over summer now looking to sell them, supplies have increased significantly.

Unfortunately, however, COVID-related workforce issues combined with the Easter and Anzac Day holidays have reduced demand at the processing end of the supply chain.

As a result, most buyers are overbooked and have limited capacity for the month ahead.

The EMI has not been published since April 13, so the direction wool markets will take are yet to be determined this week.

The Australian dollar has, however, fallen to sit in the 72¢ range which would suggest we may see some strength in the wool price once trades start to ramp up.

WA cattle prices direct to feedlots have been relatively stable this week., while in saleyards the Western Young Cattle Indicator jumped significantly on the back of a strong sale at Mt Barker last Thursday.

On the east coast, saleyard prices remain relatively unchanged for the week, with buyer demand limited because of COVID-related workforce shortages and the shorter weeks.

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

● WA market indices: Vealer steers 700¢, Vealer heifers 668¢. Yearling steers 594¢ and heifers 568¢.

● East coast processor prices: MSA: steers 790¢, heifers 785¢. Cows 740¢. Jap Ox: steers 760¢, Bulls 580¢.

● Queensland feedlots: Black Angus: 635¢, Black Angus British X: 615¢, Wagyu X Angus: POA.

● NSW feedlots (steers): Feeder steers: 0-2T 570¢, Brahman/ Brahman X Feeder steers 0-2T: 520¢, heifers 480¢.

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

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

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