Domestic slaughter lambs sold from $125 to $138 at Bendigo on Monday, with the pick of the second-cross young lambs in the 22-24kg bracket averaging around $133/head.

Spring flush of eastern lambs affecting price

THE Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator remains 93 cents higher year-on-year, despite falling last week following a swell of supply.

This week, the ESTLI fell to 554c a kilogram, down by about 45c on the month’s opening, due to a flush of lamb supply at saleyards.

National lamb throughput jumped nearly 68 per cent last week to 195,993, following a short sale week in NSW and transport logistics getting stock to market in SA due to wild weather.

The most dramatic influx of young lamb numbers was in NSW, which totalled 72,738 head – up 16pc year-on-year. In Vic, young lambs numbers jumped 14pc to 57,126, while SA supply climbed to 24,252.

Meat & Livestock Australia market analyst Stephanie Williams said drier conditions bought out more young lambs last week.

“More young lambs were penned across the majority of eastern markets,” she said.

Lamb yardings are down 19.2pc for the past four weeks, compared to the same period last year, which Ms Williams attributed to ongoing wet weather impacting the transportation of stock.

“Also the ability for producers to hold onto lambs for better finishing is a far greater possibility than this time last year when it was dry,” she said.

Ms Williams said supply may plateau in NSW, but Vic lamb yardings were expected to rise next month with Hamilton anticipated to receive a flush of supply in November.

Similarly to the ESTLI market reaction, the National Mutton Indicator responded to increased yardings, falling from 411c to 381c last week. 

Total sheep yardings rose to 62,536 from 25,462 head last week.

All states showed slight increases with NSW receiving the largest throughput with 37,593 head, which was up from 12,757, while Vic had the second largest increase at 19,111 – up from 8436 head.

“The spring flush is underway, indicating that prices should continue to soften into next week,” Mecardo market analyst Katherine Bain said. 

“The mutton price continues to hold up in comparison to this time last year, due to the favourable weather, and therefore may continue to ease at a slower rate.”​