Sheep and lamb markets remain stable

Gavin BignellCountryman

Australian sheep and lamb markets remain stable with most processors leaving grids unchanged.

Crossbred lambs are securing up to $6.80/kg, while the hogget and mutton market is about $4.80/kg.

Great Eastern Abattoirs, based in Tammin, increased its bids for crossbred lambs and mutton to $6.70 and $4.60 respectively, aligning the company with others in the market.

There continues to be forward contract prices being released on the east coast with JBS Australia putting out forward grids for lambs in both Victoria and South Australia.

Forward prices are trading at a discount to spot prices.

The spot price is $7.80, while the end of February grid is paying $7.40.

The first two windows were closed within a couple of days highlighting the supply that is available.

Several other processors, including Cedar Meats Australia and Thomas Foods International, left their mutton and lamb prices unchanged.

Strong demand from China continues to be a factor in the market with mutton exports to China for October up 43 per cent on the previous month.

There were some increases to cattle prices in Queensland with Whyalla Beef Feedlot and Oakey Beef Exports both increasing bids by 10¢ to 35¢/kg.

The market in NSW and Victoria was trading virtually unchanged.

Exports to China continue to be a significant factor in the beef market with October being the biggest month ever.

Internationally, it is clear that African swine fever is expected to have a more than short-term impact on the market.

A new Rabobank report forecast record imports for 2019 between 3.1 million tonnes to 3.3 million tonnes and up to 4.6 million tonnes in 2020 as the lethal pig virus continues to sweep across Asia.

Gavin Bignell is the operations manager at LIVEstock Pricing, a free service with the latest sheep, cattle and goat price grids in one easy-to-use app.

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