Water critical to sheep markets

Rob KellyCountryman

WA sheep markets were quiet last week and mutton prices eased.

Feedlot liveweight values are easing and minimum weight requirements are increasing as last year’s lambs increase in size.

Buyers are keeping a close eye on the east coast markets to get a feel for potential increases in demand from areas that have received rain over the past week.

For a lot of producers, water is now a critical restraint, making them more aware of the requirement to find a home for their stock soon if they’re planning to carry it through.

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East coast markets have been stable with only minor increased demand for lamb while hogget and sheep demand has continued to fall.

Crossbred lambs are close to $8, depending on weight and volumes.

Hoggets are bid around $6 and mutton is $5.80.

It’s still too early to tell whether recent rains and decreased supplies (stock lost to fires) will overcome the amount of stock that has to be sold immediately due to the lack of feed and water still hurting a lot of areas.

Goat prices have seen a small increase in demand last week with liveweight depot prices across most of the east sitting around $3.60 to $3.80.

Hook prices were given a small bump to start this week with Thomas Foods International increasing its price by 50¢ to $9.50.

In WA the price remains at $7.50.

Cattle prices shifted lower in South Australia, with Thomas Foods lowering their hook prices 15¢.

In the north, however, prices have increased by 10¢ to 20¢ with Teys Australia increasing all its Queensland grain-fed hook prices.

Other points of interest:

— The LIVEstock Pricing app has been updated with new features.

— The new-look app features a live chat and video saleyard reports.

— Sign up now for the LIVEstock Pricing Daily Market Updates via the markets page on our website (www.livestockpricing.com.au)

Rob Kelly is the founder and managing director 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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