The Australian lamb market is likely to be influenced by the recent unprecedented floods in northern NSW where floodwaters reach heights never experienced before.
Supply chains in the industry have now been affected by areas hit by the floods and surrounding regions as access is lost to roads, damage to retailers, farms and infrastructure.
Also adversely impacted has been a number of key processing plants.
"Lamb supply out of northern NSW is very likely to be disrupted for some time as the focus becomes disaster recovery and animal health and welfare," Mecardo analyst Olivia Agar said.
Sheep and lamb prices have seen falls of up to 60 cents in recent weeks due to a surge of numbers coming through the yards.
But Ms Agar said prices the week prior had strengthened according to national indicators.
"Although most saleyard lamb and sheep prices continue to trade lower year-on-year through what has already been a disruptive start to the year, prices were mostly on an upwards trend," she said.
"The National Merino Lamb Indicator (NMLI) lifted 27c while light lambs were the only national indicator to fall.
"Restocker lambs in Victoria gained 28c, making up for some of the recent steep falls, but they still look fairly cheap compared to NSW."
In fact, restocker lambs were heavily passed in through online selling platforms in recent weeks on the back of failing finished lamb prices and rising grain price uncertainty.
At present, Victoria has the cheapest restocker lambs driven by strong supply.
But experts predict there will be a lift in prices based on recent rainfall and opportunity taken by for those able to snap up lambs with feed on-hand.
MLA market information analyst Ripley Atkinson said following a below average finish to 2021, which saw a lack of available pasture in key sheep producing regions and a large uptick in turn-off for the state, a wet start to 2022 may have buoyed producer demand for restocker lambs.
"Restocker lamb prices in South Australia last week rose by 98c per kilogram carcase weight (cwt)," Mr Atkinson said.
"Year-on-year, the restocker lamb price is operating at 106c or 12pc better than 12 months ago to currently sit at 1027c/kg cwt.
"Similarly, their confidence in rebuilding flock numbers has grown in line with more abundant pasture."
He said the performance of the SA flock plays a key role in the overall national flock's production.
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