New lambs add price pressure

Rob KellyCountryman

Last week saw WA markets continue to face pressure as new-season lambs become more available.

Feedlots are also starting to become more active with processors using them to secure stock further down the supply chain.

Processor throughput increased again last week with an increasing amount of stock available as farmers look to prepare for another long summer.

Given the season, food on offer will run out quickly, putting upward pressure on the cost of carrying stock through to next year.

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On the east coast, prices were stronger at the end of last week.

The further north, the worse the season, the less stock available and the higher the prices.

NSW new-season lambs remain above $8 while in Victoria they are publicly bid slightly below this by most processors.

Overall though, we’re seeing XB lambs around $8, Merino lambs around $7 to $7.20 and mutton around $6.

Given how poor the season is in the north east, stocks are being pulled from a wider catchment than normal and this is then leading to SA buyers looking into WA.

There is stock heading east, reportedly at around $4/kg liveweight. That said, prices are often capped at lower weights than our local feedlots. This allows east coast buyers to fit more animals on trucks and lowers the $/head transport costs.

After being stagnant for a long time, goat prices came under pressure on the east coast last week.

Both Thomas Foods (SA) and Cedar Meats (NSW) lowered their bids. Western Meat Exporters (QLD) remained unchanged, though, so east coast prices are still in the $7.50 to $10 range.

The WA market remains unchanged with BRM at $8.

East coast cattle prices were firmer over the last week. Teys increased their Queensland prices for grain and grass fed cattle by 10¢ at the start of this week, as did Wingham Beef Exports in NSW late last week.

Export orders remain supported at $3 for Brahmans out of Northern Queensland.

Victoria prices have been under pressure due to the better seasonal conditions, but northern buyers are coming a lot further south to source cattle, which is adding support to that market.

Audio reports are now available in the LIVEstock Pricing app, so there is no need to wait by the radio or go online the next day.

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