Strong lamb supply no threat to prices

Strong lamb supply no threat to prices

Wool
Lamb prices remain strong, even as yardings increase. Photo: Darren Howe.

Lamb prices remain strong, even as yardings increase. Photo: Darren Howe.

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Lamb prices continue to remain strong, even as yardings increase.

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Lamb prices continue to remain strong, even as southern yarding numbers rise.

Come the end of trade on Monday, light lamb and Merino lamb both took a dip from where they were placed at the beginning of last week, but all other national indicators rose.

Light lamb was down 31c to 862c, while Merino lamb fell 15c to 743c.

The most modest rise was that of trade lamb, going up a single cent to 855c, while restocker lamb was up 8c to 955c and heavy lamb rose 14c to 875c.

All national lamb indicators still remained above where they were positioned a year ago.

Mutton prices also continued to climb, coming up 21c from last week to 622c, a price just 1c down on last year.

Increasing lamb slaughter volumes and strong processor presence at saleyards are being pointed out as key reasons for the continually strong prices.

Weekly national lamb slaughter rose 10 per cent in a week, putting it only slightly behind 2020 and 2019 levels.

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Nutrien south east region livestock lead Adam Mountjoy said there had been a sharp increase in yarding numbers this week, which was expected to continue up until Christmas.

"The markets have been buoyed by restricted supply out of the northern parts of NSW due to the irregular season and rain events that are currently occurring up there and hence that's put a lot of stability in the southern market and underpinned the processor demand and returns for vendors," he said.

"Our yards have been met by full fields of buyers each week and where the processing sector starts to taper off it's pretty swiftly met by restocker demand on the back of encouraging forward pricing that's available for 2022.

"The lamb industry's in a wonderful position at the moment where we've got a great body of feed across a large part of the southern supply area and the threshold to shear lambs and the ability to shear and put lambs out for marketing in the autumn is certainly available this season.

"The force to sell hasn't become apparent as yet so we're in a very special space at the moment where we can sort of hold and control our destiny for a change."

Mecardo analyst Olivia Agar said the lamb and sheep markets had remained strong amid continuing wet conditions.

"Lamb numbers in the south are driving higher, and light lambs and Merinos suffered in this weeks market, however, added interest from processors helped to support the finished lamb market," she said.

Ms Agar said while the growing lamb supply out of south east SA and western Victoria would bring more pressure, prices should remain historically strong thanks in part to the amount of feed available.

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