Meat & Livestock News

Weekly Market Wrap: Cattle and Sheep Trends


  • The cattle market sees general easing with most indicators, while sheep prices show mixed trends.
  • Cattle slaughter increased significantly, whereas combined sheep and lamb slaughter saw a decrease.
  • Notable shifts include a decrease in restocking yearling heifer prices and an increase in heavy lamb prices.

This week’s cattle and sheep market has presented a mix of trends, according to the latest report from Meat & Livestock Australia. In the cattle sector, there was a general easing across most indicators, with a notable decrease in yardings. The heavy steer indicator remained stable, while the dairy cow indicator saw an improvement. The restock yearling heifer indicator experienced a slight dip, largely influenced by market dynamics in Queensland.

In the sheep market, prices varied, with heavy lamb indicators experiencing a slight increase, driven by higher prices in New South Wales compared to the national average. Light lamb prices also saw an increase, despite a dip in Victorian prices. The market for light lambs adjusted, with a preference for well-finished lambs becoming apparent.

Slaughter figures for the week ending 16 February 2024 revealed a significant rise in cattle slaughter, marking a 22% increase from the previous week. This rise was particularly pronounced in Queensland. On the other hand, combined sheep and lamb slaughter decreased, with a notable reduction in Victorian slaughter contributing to the weekly total.

These market movements reflect the ongoing adjustments within the cattle and sheep sectors, highlighting the importance of quality and regional variations in influencing market trends.