New price high for small stock

Rob KellyCountryman

It was a busy week last week for small stock buyers in WA, with a new high in mutton and multiple buyers increasing their lamb prices for both crossbreds and Merinos.

GEA Exports, WAMMCO, Hillside, BRM and V&V Walsh are among those quoting $6.80 for crossbred lambs.

For Merino lambs, GEA are leading the way at $6.70, which is a new high.

Hoggets and mutton are now quoted at $4.80 with WAMMCO’s members price, putting them about 20¢ above highest public bids at the end of last week.

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Operationally, WA processors made up some ground in the middle of the month with increased mutton volumes, to notch a 12,000 week-on-week increase, reducing the total deficit versus the same time last year from 102,000 head to 96,000.

On the east coast, the sheep and lamb market has continued to steam higher.

Victorian lambs are at $8.30, while hoggets are at $7 and mutton is $6.20.

Despite the strength in WA prices, the spreads have continued to widen.

Several Eastern States processors are commenting that they are seeing purchase prices above what they are currently able to sell for.

While a spread this wide does increase the likelihood of stock moving across the country, if margins are still going to be negative it may make more economic sense to reduce killing days rather than pay overs for stock to keep plants running.

For cattle, Muchea prices were weaker for weaners and yearlings in the yards, heavy bulls and prime cows appeared unchanged and grown steers looked stronger.

On the East Coast, prices have eased slightly again with both feedlot and processor numbers coming off roughly 10¢.

NSW feedlot prices range from $2.50 for crossbred heifers to $3.15 for Black Angus steers and for processor prices. Teys are quoting $5.80 for grain-fed steers.

In Queensland, export orders remain stable, ranging from $2.60 to $3.00.

Cattle yardings for the first few days of the week have been mixed, Muchea was up compared to last week.

The East Coast looked to be on a similar trend, excluding Tamworth which dropped by 1000 to 1400.

Seperately, the goat market has remained incredibly strong with South Australian prices rising 30¢ to $10.30 this week with Thomas Foods.

  • 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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