ABARES tips saleyards’ sheep prices to remain strong

Zach RelphCountryman
Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics says sheep prices at saleyards will remain upbeat.
Camera IconAustralian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics says sheep prices at saleyards will remain upbeat. Credit: Zach Relph/Countryman

A new forecast predicts Australian sheepmeat value to remain strong this year, with lamb prices poised to reach record highs on the back of strong international demand and dry seasonal conditions.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics latest analysis, released today, predicted the Australian weighted average saleyard price of lamb to slightly fall to 774¢/kg in 2020-21.

It comes after WA’s lamb value hit a record $289 at the Katanning Regional Saleyards last June.

ABARES’ Peter Lock said China’s hunger for protein, fuelled by African swine fever decimating the Asian pig herd, would support continued demand for Australian sheepmeat.

“Strong demand from China in response to consumers seeking a replacement for pork is likely to continue to place upward pressure on prices,” he said.

“Dry seasonal conditions across much of Australia are likely to continue to constrain lambing, restricting supply and reinforcing the upward pressure on prices.

“Over the medium term, saleyard prices for lamb are expected to decline but remain historically high.”

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