Australia's lamb market has suffered consecutive weeks of losses, with all indicators surrounded in a sea of red ink.
The Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator finished the week at 634 cents a kilogram, down 97c year-on-year.
In comparison, lamb rates this time last year were averaging 927c/kg, which equates to a massive drop of 295c/kg carcase weight.
Heavy lambs followed a similar trajectory, falling 78c/kg and showing a decline of 297c/kg year-on-year.
Mutton has fallen 84c/kg in the past week to rest at 462c/kg which is 228c/kg shy of year-ago levels.
However, it is important to remember the mutton market was on a roll through the winter months of last year.
Restocking lambs have taken yet another hit, tumbling 136c/kg to pull up at 508c/kg and showing a loss of 427c/kg compared to the same time last year.
According to some stock agents, the late surge in numbers has unfortunately clashed with processing plant closures for winter maintenance.
Meanwhile, big numbers of direct-to-meatworks and contract lambs are still working their way through the system.
In opening markets on Monday, the lamb sales were yet to stabilize with further price falls recorded over all categories.
Despite the limited numbers of well-finished lambs, rates have seldom been able to push back to more than 700c/kg cwt.
In Victoria and NSW, numbers declined at all centres led by Bendigo which offered 5400 head.
According to Meat & Livestock Australia's National Livestock Reporting Service, it was the smallest yarding recorded since the troubled COVID times of early January when abattoir kills were disrupted.
The worrying trend was the absence of five processing orders.
The small group of processors were very selective resulting in a big price decline for plainer-type lambs.
The general run of trade lambs sold $5-$10 cheaper.
The better types weighed 22-24kg and sold from $154-$174 to average 680c/kg cwt.
Big heavy lambs more than 30kg cwt struggled to make $200, with the bulk slipping $20 to sell from $192-$212 to average 637c/kg cwt.
Meanwhile, all grades of sheep sold to cheaper trends and averaged 420-520c/kg cwt.
Heavy crossbred ewes topped at $172, while trade mutton made from $51-$120.
The Ballarat lamb market continued to soften in a reasonably small yarding of 9500 lambs and 1200 sheep.
The downward trajectory experienced at recent sales continued across heavy lambs categories, with the big super-sized lambs selling $10 cheaper to average 664c/kg cwt.
Within the weaker central Victorian market there were a few good sales of trade lambs as prices ranged from $115-$188 to average 695c/kg cwt.
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