Tightening restocker lamb supply across the country has helped drive the national indicator up, with favourable seasonal conditions leading to higher turn off weights.
As at close of trade Monday, the national restocker lamb indicator was up by 16c on last week, and 11c higher than a year ago.
In South Australia the restocker indicator was the strongest at 996c, followed by 987c in NSW and 894c in Victoria while Queensland was lowest at 718c.
In other national indicators light lamb was down week on week 44c to 810c, Merino lamb was down 41c to 729c, trade lamb was down 15c to 817c, heavy lamb was down 13c to 814c and mutton was down 26c to 548c.
MLA market information office Stephen Bignell said South Australia was achieving high prices at the moment, particularly in Naracoorte and Wagga Wagga was doing well in NSW but the throughput was coming from Victorian saleyards.
"Ballarat is getting the yardings, as well as Hamilton," he said.
"We actually saw carcase weights in quarter four of 2021 lower than we would have expected and it ties back to the pastures... without necessarily having the heat there, we had the water needed but not the strength of pastures so carcase weights for December were lower than we thought they would be.
"Because people have held onto lambs for longer than they usually would have because of the Victorian processing issue last year and the supply chain issues this year we're seeing more heavy lambs than what we would have expected and there are less restocker, light and trade lambs than necessarily what we would have expected."
In South Australia, mutton experienced a surge in the indicator, jumping 68c from last week to reach 578c, which was still down by 7c compared to year ago pricing.
Mr Bignell said mutton was coming back on board after the past two years where producers have retained older ewes to get an extra lamb out of them.
"There is international demand that keeps that mutton meat price up and in a historical context these are still great prices but they have softened a little bit as we expect that supply to come back online," he said.
"What we are expecting across all lamb categories is for there to be a bit of an increase in supply across the board given that we had a bigger lamb cohort in 2021 and they didn't fully hit the market and in January there were a few processing issues because of COVID-19.
"We probably expect the lambs hitting the markets in the next month to be heavier so there might be a little bit less restocker lamb around."
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