The supply of lambs at WA markets reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service more than doubled this week, the combined result of reduced offerings in previous week and the deteriorating season. However, it should also be noted that this week’s yarding was 54% below the corresponding week last year.
The current uncertainty in the WA lamb market continues to impact producers marketing decisions, with reports of processors being well-booked reflected in competition at the saleyards. Additionally, while the warmer weather in most parts of the state has assisted early pasture growth, rain is urgently needed to improve current feed levels and provide some confidence to producers as temperatures increase.
This week both Katanning and Muchea experienced solid increases in lamb throughput, with around 2,130 head of new season lambs yarded. At the conclusion of Thursday’s markets the WA restocker lamb indicator was 56¢ lower, on 262¢/kg cwt. Merino lambs lost 33¢ to 250¢/kg cwt, while light lambs averaged 244¢/kg cwt. Trade lambs were 32¢ lower on 296¢/kg cwt, while heavy lambs decreased 31¢, to 281¢/kg cwt.
Sheep supplies lifted 33% week-on-week, with ewe mutton at Katanning remaining the largest class to be sold, while wether numbers were limited. Regardless of the good weight and quality of some of the ewe mutton, processor demand continued to weaken. The overall lack of demand has resulted in some restocker and feeder buyers capitalising on the lower prices, despite the uncertain seasonal outlook.
At the close of Thursday’s markets the WA mutton indicator finished 34¢ lower week-on-week 151¢/kg cwt - the lowest level since mid-2009.
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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