FOR the second week running, livestock markets have remained stable, representing a pause in the seasonal rise in cattle values, according to Meat and Livestock Australia’s (MLA) week’s summary.
LAMB AND MUTTON:
MLA says this week's sales suggest the seasonal winter price peak may have been reached for sheep and lamb prices.
Lamb and mutton prices, however, remain buoyant and well above recent those of recent years.
Lamb prices this week rose slightly for heavier finished categories but fell slightly on lighter categories, leaving trade and heavy lambs up around 10pc on last year’s.
Light categories this week sold over 20pc higher than at this time last year.
MLA says lamb prices continue to be buoyed by lower numbers and strong export demand.
After reaching a record 306¢/kg cwt two weeks ago, the national mutton price indicator retreated a further 11¢ this week, to 289¢/kg cwt – but it's still 50pc higher than last year’s.
These prices are still considered by MLA to be remarkably high reflecting the lack of cull ewes and the reduced number of wethers left on farms, plus the impact of the recent southern rains and continued strong live sheep and mutton demand from the Middle East.
The contrast between the weak beef export situation and the buoyant sheepmeat export outlook continues to remain stark.
The MLA says that's despite the recent widespread rains in many areas and the year-on-year fall in the $A, when compared with July last year, which might have been expected to lift cattle markets a bit more than they did in the past week.
For cattle, the eastern young cattle indicator (EYCI) lifted 3¢/kg this week.
But other cattle categories fell by 2-5¢/kg carcase weight, reflecting this continued weak export interest, also influenced this week by a rising $A, which mostly offset the benefit of the recent rains.
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