Meat & Livestock News

Australian Livestock Market Weekly Wrap-Up: A Comprehensive Overview


  • The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) rose by 23 cents, reaching 667 cents/kg carcass weight, with significant increases in cattle and lamb market indicators.
  • Sheep and lamb slaughter numbers decreased by 83,642, totalling 571,593 head, reflecting a reduction in slaughter activities.
  • Live cattle exports saw a 12% increase, while live sheep exports by sea rose by 22%, indicating a robust year for Australian livestock exports.

In the latest update from the Australian livestock market, there has been a notable uplift in market indicators for both cattle and sheep, reflecting a positive trend in the industry as of February 2024.

Cattle Market Trends

The cattle sector witnessed a significant uptick this week across all indicators. The Eastern States Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) experienced a rise of 23 cents, settling at 667 cents/kg carcass weight (cwt), with Queensland leading the charge with prices reaching up to 709 cents/kg cwt. This increase is attributed to favourable weather conditions, boosting producer confidence and the potential for improved pastures.

Feeder steer prices saw a remarkable increase of 98 cents, reaching 350 cents/kg live weight (lwt), driven by strong competition among lot feeders eager to secure numbers. This competitive atmosphere has contributed to a stable supply, with yardings increasing slightly by 227 to 11,007 head.

Sheep and Lamb Market Dynamics

The sheep and lamb markets have shown varied trends, with the restocker lamb indicator witnessing a 26 cent increase to 627 cents/kg cwt. This rise comes amidst fluctuating yardings, which saw a significant increase to 373,621 head, influenced by lower numbers over the preceding long weekend.

Mutton prices also saw an increase, with the indicator rising by 34 cents to 312 cents/kg cwt. This was supported by a high supply meeting demand for heavier lambs, particularly noted at Wagga, where prices were 31 cents above the indicator. Similar trends were observed across other saleyards, with prices reaching up to 42 cents above the national price.

Slaughter Figures

Slaughter numbers for both cattle and sheep have shown a decrease, with cattle slaughter easing by 20,526 to 95,587 head. This reduction was most pronounced in Queensland and New South Wales. Similarly, sheep and lamb slaughter numbers decreased by 83,642 to 571,593 head, with a significant reduction in lamb slaughter, particularly in Victoria.

The Australian livestock market has shown robust performance in the latest weekly wrap-up, with increases in key market indicators for cattle and sheep. The favourable weather conditions have played a crucial role in boosting producer confidence and the potential for pasture improvement, contributing to the positive trends observed in the market. As the industry moves forward, these trends offer valuable insights for stakeholders in planning and decision-making processes.