Weekly cattle and sheep market wrap 16 June

Key points:

  • Most cattle indicators remained firm, with a steady yarding week-on-week.
  • Yardings continue to tighten in the sheep market and the Restocker Lamb indicator strengthened 60¢.
  • Slaughter numbers have come back across all species as some processing plants may be heading into their maintenance periods.


Cattle yardings remained relatively firm at just over 33,000 head.

Most indicators had very little price movement week-on-week. Roma numbers lifted 2,400 head mostly drawn from the local area. Some cattle from Alice Springs were also at the sale, with good quality and buyer activity.

Dalby had a slightly smaller yarding but there was good buyer activity from exporters and processors. Weight and quality drove the market here.

Feeder steer prices eased 4¢ week-on-week, with Roma only trading 2¢ above the national average and contributing 16%, and Gracemere trading 26¢ under with a 13% contribution. Gracemere had an increase of 1,796 head at the saleyard with cattle drawn from a large area and a large proportion of feeder steers.

The Western Young Cattle Indicator (WYCI) continues to trade at a premium to the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) with a relatively firm market at Mount Barker. The WYCI currently sits at 644.01¢/kg carcase weight (cwt) with feeders paying the highest premium.

The EYCI strengthened slightly to 567.77¢/kg cwt. Restocker prices improved by 13¢ and are the buyers paying the premium.

Sheep and lambs

Yardings have tightened again this week in sheep and lambs to 37,823 and 135,037 head respectively. NSW had a drop of nearly 50% of sheep yarded.

Some grain-finished lambs came through large markets such as Wagga Wagga, which helped to improve the condition of heavier lambs. Lamb numbers at the saleyard increased by nearly 11,000 head with shorn lambs fetching better prices.

The Restocker Lamb indicator strengthened in price 60¢ week-on-week after a strong increase in price at the top contributing saleyards. Ballarat contributed 28% of throughput, with restocker lambs at 577¢/kg cwt (78¢ above the national average).

As the older season lambs are sold off, mixed quality through the saleyards is driving price in a less active market.


Cattle slaughter came back 2.9% to 120,362 head. This is still 24% above year-ago levels and is the second highest weekly cattle slaughter for the last three years.

Sheep and lamb slaughter have also eased this week, with lambs now only 12,000 head above numbers recorded this time last year. Sheep slaughter eased 1% week-on-week and remains 88% higher year-on-year.

Goat slaughter reached 41,298 head this week, up 173% year-on-year.

Some plants pay be going into their winter maintenance periods, which could have an impact on slaughter numbers in the coming weeks.

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