Cattle, sheep & goat market wrap

Key points:

  • The EYCI falls 2% as yardings rise
  • National lamb slaughter volumes have been impacted by ALC’s closure last week
  • Trade lamb prices fall below 900c/kg
  • Only the third time that 2021 weekly cattle slaughter numbers have exceeded 2020 levels

EYCI falls

The EYCI eased nearly 2% this week, falling back to 1,038c/kg swt on the back of higher yardings. This week, EYCI throughput jumped over 3,500 head, placing downward pressures on price.

Feedlots were actively buying over the last week. They’re currently buying 54% of young cattle, with restockers only buying 31%. Given restockers are paying a 128c/kg premium over what feeders are paying, when restockers are less active in the young cattle market, the price falls accordingly.

Lamb slaughter

Two weeks ago, national weekly lamb slaughter for 2021 was above 2020 levels for late September. Last week, weekly lamb slaughter fell 11% to 327,000 head for the week. Part of this fall can be attributed to the closure of Australian Lamb Company’s (ALC) Colac plant due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

Goat Slaughter

Weekly goat slaughter is currently well above both 2020 and 2021 levels, a trend that has been occurring for the last month. NSW is currently slaughtering nearly 200% of its 2020 goat volumes in September. This growth follows a period of depressed goat slaughter through 2020 and 2021 – as the goat population has been rebuilding.

The increase in goat throughput over the last month has not put downward pressure on goat over-the-hooks prices, which are sitting stable at 888c/kg cwt.

Cattle slaughter above 2020’s corresponding week

For only the third time this year, national weekly cattle slaughter has surpassed 2020 levels. This week, national cattle slaughter was 91,824 head according to NLRS data – up 3.5% on the same week in 2020.

National Trade Lamb falls

National trade lamb prices fell 4.7% this week, to 891c/kg cwt, as there was an additional throughput of 10,000 head. This increase in supply pushed prices lower, with the ALC closure also reducing demand somewhat.

WA trade lamb prices were at a 200c/kg cwt discount to the National Trade Lamb Indicator and eastern Australian saleyards.

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