Heavy lambs hit $10/kg
HEAVY lamb prices cracked the $10/kg mark last week, but have eased slightly at early sales this week.
As the shortage of finished heavy lambs is now well and truly coming to fruition, it’s currently unknown where prices will go next before new season lambs come on to the market.
Late last week the eastern states heavy lamb indicator reached 1000c/kg carcass weight – up 26c/kg on the week prior and 205c/kg higher than the same time last year.
On Monday, the indicator declined slightly to 993c/kg, up 181c/kg on last year.
And while the eastern states trade lamb indicator hit an all-time high of 950c/kg mid last week, it fell slightly on Monday to close at 938c/kg carcass weight – still 166c/kg higher than a year ago.
Mecardo analyst Matt Dalgleish said the high heavy lamb price was driven by NSW, which has been hardest hit by drought, leaving fewer finished lambs available.
“The NSW heavy lamb indicator was the first to break through the $10 mark, gaining 28c/kg last week to hit 1005c/kg and is still at 1000c/kg (on Monday),” he said.
Mr Dalgleish said when new season lambs started to enter the market, there would be a price correction.
“I can’t see the ESTLI going too much through 960-970c/kg,” he said.
But Mr Dalgleish said in US dollar terms prices were not quite at the previous peaks.
“When the ESTLI was at 950c/kg lamb was US666c/kg, pretty close to the previous 2011 peak of US673c/kg.”
And in Chinese yuan terms, Mr Dalgleish said prices had risen three per cent higher than last year’s peak, while mutton was still 11 per cent
US and China take about 40 per cent of our lamb and mutton exports. Prices are getting close to the top of what they have paid in the past...
— Matt Dalgleish
cheaper than the 2011 peak.
“The US and China take about 40 per cent of our lamb and mutton exports. Prices are getting close to the top of what they have paid in the past, so they might start to baulk at prices now.”
At early lamb sales in Bendigo and Corowa, NSW, this week prices eased slightly, but the best lambs were still averaging more than 1000c/kg.
Paull & Scollard Landmark livestock consultant Richard Wynne from Corowa said they yarded double the numbers as the previous week.
“People were taking advantage of the good prices,” Mr Wynne said.
He said he expected prices to “drop back”.
“Our season has turned around and we are expecting suckers to come in to the market in about a fortnight.”
READY FOR AUCTION: Sheep and lambs yarded at Queensland’s only weekly sheep sale in Warwick.