Weekly sheep and cattle market wrap 23 September

Key points:

  • Throughput declines as several sales did not go ahead this week.
  • Roma saw stronger yardings this week with good quality moving through.
  • Sheep slaughter continues to rise, topping 100,000 head for the second week in a row.


The national public holiday on Thursday and the Victorian public holiday on Friday put a hold on some key markets this week. As yardings ease and throughput for indicators is reduced, the market will strengthen.


Numbers in Roma rose this week by 4,091 head with good quality stock presenting at the yards. This week, Roma contributed 35% to the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) and traded 12¢ above the national average. Feeders and restockers in the EYCI are taking out 46% and 48% respectively with feeders paying under $10 kg cwt.

The Western Young Cattle Indicator (WYCI) softened this week as the Mount Barker sale did not go ahead. The WYCI is currently sitting at 947.92¢/kg cwt, with 63% going to restockers.

Feeder steers

The feeder steer indicator strengthened 14¢ week-on-week to 527.23¢/kg lwt. Wagga Wagga had the largest premium on the national average at 589.93¢/kg lwt – 33¢ higher week-on-week. This is after improved yardings enabled feeder and processor buyers to select from good quality offerings.


The light lamb indicator has strengthened 24¢ week-on-week, with young lamb yardings improving as more new season lambs hit the market. The SA livestock exchange took out the highest prices in the indicator at 796.48¢/kg cwt and also had the greatest contribution, comprising 21% of the indicator.

Heavier old and new season lambs are fetching higher prices with the quality lifting in general – demonstrating the continued demand for heavier lambs from restockers and processors.

The heavy lamb indicator will be more volatile this week with the Wagga Wagga sale not going ahead.


Sheep slaughter continues to increase moving into spring, reaching 111,370 head this week to crack the 100,000 head mark for the second week in a row.

Lamb slaughter has also seen an uptick, hitting unseasonable highs at volumes 13% above year-ago levels. This comes as new season lambs hit the market and processors work through the large supply of lambs available.

Meanwhile, cattle slaughter held firm at 88,564 head this week. Queensland cattle slaughter eased slightly week-on-week by 1,042 head.

Kill numbers next week could be reduced with the additional public holiday on Thursday and the grand final public holiday in Victoria this week. Some processing plants are carrying out maintenance which could also restrict capacity.

Processors may ramp up production early in the coming week to compensate for the lost business days.

Markets update

Markets that did not run Wednesday: Horsham, Hamilton, Cowra (sheep), CTLX (sheep), Mt Gambia (cattle), Leongatha, Warrnambool.

Markets that did not run Thursday: Emerald, Bairnsdale, Wagga Wagga, Yass (cattle), Carcoar (sheep), Mount Barker, Swan Hill (cattle).

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