March 21, 2013
Lamb supply in NSW jumped by 39 per cent last week, leading to mixed results in saleyards across the State. That compares to the national lamb supply, which jumped 34pc. National Livestock Reporting Service livestock market analyst, Stephanie Williams, Sydney, said the larger yardings and a lack of processor demand due to booked schedules were some of the factors which affected prices this past week. “Restocker buyers took advantage of lower prices also,” Ms Williams said. “Last week’s price falls were somewhat of a surprise given the previous week’s prices were holding at solid levels.” The eastern States trade lamb indicator finished the week 44 cents a kilogram lower at 309c/kg carcase weight. “Some producers may be turned off by the lower prices of last week and that may impact on supply,” Ms Williams said. Processors not looking through the saleyards for stock were also a good indication supplies of stock direct-to-works were constant, she added. Daniel Croker of Landmark Goulburn said there was a considerable drop in killable lamb numbers last week. He said prices for those lines dropped by between $10 and $15 a head at Goulburn at their sale on last Wednesday, November 14. “That’s maybe down to seasonal conditions, but supply and demand has been the major thing affecting the Goulburn market,” Mr Croker said. “For store lambs and restocker lines, I didn’t think there was a lot of difference in prices in recent weeks.” Goulburn’s sheep yarding last week was nearly double that recorded a fortnight ago, with a head count of 5000 lambs out of a total yarding of 6600. Mr Croker explained the jump in numbers was reflective of seasonal conditions throughout the region surrounding Goulburn. “A lot of people could hold lambs back and you might see a rise in prices during the next few weeks; that’s what we hope,” he said. Forbes stock and station agent, Daniel Beard, Landmark, said there wasn’t a huge jump in numbers at last week’s sheep sale. “Forbes has been consistent in its yardings, with between 18,000 and 25,000 over the past few months,” Mr Beard said. “After last week’s drop of about $5/head to $8/head on the lamb market, the market remained unchanged this week.” Mr Beard said there had not been a lot of volatility in the market at Forbes recently. “There have been a lot of factors affecting prices at the moment, and it will be interesting to see what happens in the future,” he said. “It might get a little bit better and we could see a small increase, but at the end of the day I don’t think there will be any major increases in commodity prices for some time.