High throughput across the country weighs market

Strong throughput numbers for both lamb and mutton across the nation this week saw falls recorded in all national sale yard indicators, ranging between 3$ to 9 %.  The headline Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator (ESTLI) dropping 9.4% to close at 601/kg, while mutton was equally weak, off 8.8% to 385¢.

The East coast sale yard indicators mostly mirroring the national falls, with many categories posting declines between 2% to 12%. In Victoria, Merino Lambs the weakest, falling 9% to 558¢, while in NSW Restockers took the heat with a 12% drop to 598¢.

Victorian and NSW lamb yardings shown to be running above average for this time of the year and this saw East coast throughput lift 33% on the week to sit 28% higher than the seasonal average for this time in the year – Figure 1.

Higher NSW mutton yarding the key behind the elevated East coast figures too this week – figure 2. NSW sheep thoughput currently 34.7% over the seasonal average level for this week in the year and the added numbers of mutton has pushed the East coast levels over 100,000 head this week, an 18.7% gain on the seasonal average.

Western Australian indicators for Merino Lamb and Mutton were particularly soft, both off 19% to 509¢ and 370¢, respectively. High throughput the likely culprit there too with WA mutton yarding levels showing a solid surge this week with 27,000 head recorded – an increase over the seasonal average of 66.3% – Figure 3.

What does it mean/next week?:

A wetter week is anticipated, particularly in the West, and this should stem some of the price declines experienced by producers this week. The BOM have forecast a higher chance for a wetter than average February and there hasn’t been much for the East coast for the first few weeks of the month – perhaps that means the second half of the month we will be some decent falls… fingers crossed.