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MLA Weekly Market Wrap - 24th February 2022

Key points:

  • The WA heavy lamb price is currently outperforming its eastern states equivalent by 96c/kg cwt.

  • Demand for restocker steers in Queensland continues to remain strong.

  • Goat slaughter volumes are at their highest since October 2020.


WA sheep and lamb market

  • All lamb indicators in the west are outperforming year-ago levels.

    • Trade and heavy weight lambs are performing significantly stronger, with continued high demand for these heavier carcases – as well as continued low supply due to seasonal conditions – placing upwards pressure on pricing.


  • The WA Heavy Lamb Indicator is currently priced 197c or 28% higher than year-ago levels, to sit at 889c/kg cwt.

    • This is a premium to the Eastern States Heavy Lamb Indicator of 96c/kg cwt or 12%.


  • Trade lambs are currently operating 117c/kg higher than year ago levels, equivalent to a rise of 16%.

    • Compared to the Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator (ESTLI), the premium is narrower than its heavy lamb counterpart – only stronger by 20c or 2.4%.


  • Tight supply can be attributed to the favourable improvement in prices seen in lambs since the beginning of 2022 in the west.

  • The mutton market in WA is currently relatively firm to year-ago levels, down by 7c/kg cwt as it continues to fall following a strong January market period.

Queensland restocker demand remains resilient

  • The Queensland restocker steer price has performed strongly in recent weeks, showing current resilience in the market and demand for steers to grow out and feed following a very strong late spring and summer rainfall period for much of the state.

  • At present, the price has appreciated 28c or 5.7% in a week to currently sit 14c lower than its record of 778c/kg lwt set on 14 January 2022.

    • Supply of restocker steers has remained firm since the indicator appreciated 28c.


  • Demand for steers at CQLX Gracemere is strong, with the saleyard accounting for 29% of the yarding, while its average price is currently at 784c – a 20c/kg lwt or 2.8% premium to the state’s overall price.

    • Current market conditions show the strong interest for restocker article steers in the Rockhampton region – a positive indicator of demand from producers to rebuild numbers following a string of challenging seasons with low rainfall.


Goat slaughter at highest weekly levels in two years

  • Weekly goat slaughter for the week ending Friday 18 February was at its highest volume since the beginning of 2020. The weekly total of 35,118 is 1.6% or 555 head higher than the previous record set at the start of October 2020.

  • Compared to year-ago volumes, goat slaughter numbers were higher by 110% or 18,365 head.

  • Victorian slaughter numbers increased week-on-week by 57% or 5,988 head.


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