Cattle And Sheep Market Wrap

Key points:

  • The Feeder Steer Indicator lifted by 2¢ to 321¢/kg liveweight (lwt).
  • Increased interest from restocker and feeder are driving market prices.
  • Lamb and sheep slaughter have achieved the second largest weekly slaughter on record.


The cattle market has generally eased this week with the exception of the Feeder Steer Indicator. With ANZAC day on Thursday, all sales closed over the break, yardings eased significantly by 58,612 to 38,856 head.

The Processor Cow Indicator eased by 3¢ to 199¢/kg liveweight (lwt), with yardings easing by 50% to 5,278 head. The export market has seen a notable price correction with buyers not participating in the market and thus processor indicators have declined evident in the Heavy Steer Indicator and Processors Cow Indicator.

The Feeder Steer Indicator lifted by 5¢ to 322¢/kg lwt, scattered rainfall in Queensland has reduced yardings by 49% to 5,475 head. This lift in prices is likely due to feeders and restockers buyers driving market prices as seen in the relevant indicators, with growing demand for lightweight yearling steers returning to the paddock.


The sheep market has been generally trended positively, after trending downward for the past two weeks. Yardings has tightened by 148,191 to 161,062 head with lamb and sheep yardings easing by 47% and 50% respectively.

The Heavy Lamb Indicator rose by 29¢ to 678¢/kg carcase weight (cwt), a significant reduction in yardings have led to relatively more demand for lambs. Market reports have indicated that heavy export lambs in demand relative to slaughter.

The Restocker Lamb Indicator declined 64¢ to 433¢/kg cwt, yardings eased by 18,050 to 12,735 head, a 58% reduction over the past week. There was increased interest from restockers and feeders but buyers with quality and supply being a limiting factor.


Week ending 19th April 2024

Cattle slaughter has lifted by 3,414 to 134,475 head, making it the second largest weekly slaughter in 2024. Slaughter has risen in most states with largest increase in NSW at 2,127 to 35,096 head. Year to date slaughter has increased by 35,994 head or a 37% increase from the same time last year. Slaughter has continued to hover around 130,000 head each week with the exception of public holidays and the Easter break.

Lamb and sheep slaughter has achieved the second largest weekly slaughter on record only 273 head below record slaughter levels. Lamb slaughter lifted by 18,886 to 499,945 head – the second largest weekly lamb slaughter on record largely driven by South Australian slaughter rising by 28,101 head. On the other hand, sheep slaughter eased 19,159 to 192,464 head largely due to slaughter in South Australia easing by 27,508 head.

Attribute Content to Emily Tan, MLA Market Information Analyst

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