Spring has started strongly as lamb prices continue to hold fairly firm, despite a slip in prices.
While all national indicators and Eastern States Daily Indicators had fallen on Monday from last week, prices still remained up on where they were a year ago.
In national indicators, light lambs fell 11c to 848c but were still up 182c from last year, trade lambs were 916c, down by 19c on last week but up 241c from last year, heavy lambs dropped 32 c to 941c, still up by 295c from last year.
Merino lamb fell 43c to 799c and restocker lamb dropped 34c to 996c.
Mutton is also performing well and despite dropping 15c to 665c, remains 142c higher than last year.
Meat & Livestock Australia market information officer Stephen Bignell said while the prices had dropped they were still significantly elevated from where they were last year.
"It's an interesting dynamic, particularly given the fact that we expect so many more lambs to hit the ground, more than last year and we've got a growing flock," he said.
"We knew that the supply side of things would obviously be elevated.
"The mutton is an interesting one... mutton has been so strong this year and it's elevated on where it has been historically.
"What we've found with the export stats is there is still a lot of export demand coming out of mutton, August monthly exports were up 35pc by tonnes and volume exported."
Mr Bignell said people were watching what was happening in Victoria with processing restrictions to determine if demand would slip.
"We do know that slaughter has eased a little bit, it's fallen below last year levels," he said.
"Last week's numbers for lamb slaughter did fall below year ago levels so there is a little bit of easing of demand, just based on those restrictions.
"National lamb slaughter last week was 349,000, that's the first time it's fallen behind last year in over a month."
According to Thomas Elder Markets analyst Matt Dalgliesh, there was a 40pc drop in volumes for Victorian sheep processing in the week from August 20 to August 27, while the return of Fletcher's Dubbo abattoir to the saleyards prompted an 85pc rebound in NSW sheep slaughter volumes.
"Weekly lamb slaughter volumes were less volatile, with both NSW and Victoria registering declines from the previous week. NSW lamb slaughter eased by just 2pc to record 97,730 lamb processed, meanwhile Victoria posted a 5pc drop to 153,122 head," he said.
"Despite the reduced number of lambs processed in each state the levels are on par with their respective five-year trend. NSW lamb slaughter sits just 3pc under the seasonal average and Victoria is 4pc above the five-year pattern."
Mercado market analyst Olivia Agar last week reported that producers were motivated to get stock off the paddock with 167,271 lambs yarded in the east, representing a 10 per cent lift on the week prior.
"All states contributed to the lift which saw 14pc more lambs yarded than we typically see at this time of the year," she said.
"In Western Australia lamb yardings also increased, by around 25pc, but remain below average levels.
"Sheep supply also surged in the east 36pc higher than the week earlier, to see 52,077 sheep yarded in the east."
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