NSW throughput bounce stalls trade lamb rally

A rebound in East coast yardings post the Easter break, particularly out of NSW, sees the Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator (ESTLI) take a breather this week. The ESTLI posting a 2.9% drop to 667¢/kg cwt. Not so for National Mutton, bucking the trend with a 1.9% gain to 495¢ – dragged higher by gains to Western Australian sheep.

Figure 1 shows the lift in East coast lamb throughput, a 49.8% gain from the figures from the previous week to see over 162,000 head reported at the saleyard. The East coast numbers given a huge lift by the 74.3% rise in lamb yardings seen across NSW – figure 2.

Despite the higher supply, restocker lambs in NSW and Victoria gaining some ground up 10.4% and 6.6%, respectively. NSW restockers now fetching $119 per head, while Victorian restockers are enjoying a $126 per head level. The higher NSW yardings having most impact on Heavy and Trade lambs in that state down 4.2% (641¢/kg) and 1.4% (656¢/kg), correspondingly. The two softest categories of Victorian lamb for the week were Merino, falling 5.2% to 616¢, and Light lambs, down 3.5% to 660¢. Trade lambs the star performer in SA, the only category of sheep in that state to post a gain this week, up 4.2% to 614¢.

The week ahead

Another short week ahead with the ANZAC break and some decent rainfall to much of the sheep regions of the nation (figure 3) should see prices hold, or perhaps firm slightly. As outlined in the sheep/lamb analysis piece this week longer term fundamentals will continue to support any price dips seen in sheep and lamb markets for much of the current season.