Meat & Livestock News

Weekly Update on Australian Cattle and Sheep Markets

A farm of trimmed white and brown sheep and rams

Australia’s livestock market witnessed several shifts in the week ending 15 September 2023.

Here are the key takeaways:

Cattle Market Dynamics

  • Cattle yardings saw an increase, rising by 6,383 to a total of 44,533 head.
  • The market experienced a slight downturn this week, with consistent price movements observed across various saleyards.
  • The heavy steer indicator, which represents the price of heavier cattle, declined by 15¢, settling at 253¢/kg liveweight (lwt). This decrease was observed across all states, with most saleyards noting a change ranging from 10-25¢ from the previous week.
  • In contrast, the restocker yearling steer indicator, which represents younger cattle, saw a minor decrease of 2¢, reaching 241¢/kg lwt. Notably, prices at Roma increased by 9¢ to 264¢/kg lwt, a recovery from the significant drop observed the week before.

Sheep Market Insights

  • The sheep market displayed mixed trends. Yardings increased by 20,814 head, totalling 239,580, primarily driven by a surge in New South Wales (NSW). In NSW, lamb yardings rose by 18,671 to 172,023 head, while sheep yardings remained stable at 45,066 head.
  • The heavy lamb indicator, which tracks the price of mature lambs, strengthened, increasing by 2¢ to 453¢/kg carcase weight (cwt). This was influenced by robust sales in Bendigo, which counteracted price drops in Wagga, Forbes, and Corowa.
  • The mutton indicator, representing older sheep, declined by 24¢, settling at 113¢/kg cwt. This trend was consistent across various saleyards, with the exception of Muchea, where prices tightened by 14¢.

Slaughter Figures

  • Cattle slaughter remained relatively stable, decreasing slightly by 1,715 to 125,622 head.
  • Combined lamb and sheep slaughter figures rose by 22,483 to 618,318 head. This increase was predominantly attributed to lamb slaughter, which surged by 20,174 to 463,813 head. This figure represents the highest weekly lamb slaughter since April 2019 and sets a new record for September.

Additional Notes

  • The Gracemere Cattle market did not operate this week.
  • The market trends and figures were provided by Tim Jackson, MLA Global Supply Analyst.