Sheep market - November update - Elders Rural Services

Sheep market – November update

At a glance

  • Yarding numbers in southern states increased sharply in October after cooler conditions in September.
  • Trade lamb prices have finally come under pressure driven by an increase in supply pushing prices 12.4 per cent (pc) lower.

Market fundamentals

The gates swung open for southern lambs in October after a lag to the usual spring flush. In Tasmania, average daily yarding numbers increased 22.3 pc, Victoria increased 17 pc and New South Wales 4.5 pc compared to the previous 30-day period.

National trade lamb prices recorded a 12.4 pc decline compared to a month ago but remain 4.9 pc higher compared to this time last year.

In New South Wales and Victoria, trade lamb prices decreased by 16.1 pc and 9.1 pc respectively compared to September.

The Elders Weather outlook for November forecasts multiple cold fronts across southern and eastern Australia from 8 to 12 November, and again 14 to 18 and 25 to 29 November. The cold fronts are expected to bring widespread rain. In Western Australia (WA), cold fronts will start from 8 November and push into early December. Multiple rain events across the country, combined with warmer weather is expected to promote vigorous grass growth, pushing the green feed wedge into summer.

A world record was broken for a stud sale in October. You can read about some of the significant sales in our latest edition of Bidders, winners and records.

Table showing how national trade lamb prices are declining as supply increases.
Graph showing how national trade lamb prices are declining as supply increases.


  • Seasonal conditions remain conducive for re-stocking.
    Prices are starting from a higher point compared to last year.


  • Supply is increasing quickly and the traditional dip in price is underway.

From the field

Southern South Australia

“In the Mallee and Riverland regions of South Australia the focus has shifted towards harvest. Rainfall has been more hit and miss compared to southern regions however confidence remains high after a successful selling season.

“Interestingly, reductions in processing capacity have coincided with delays finding shearers. This trend is expected to continue throughout the South East as the shearing season moves south. The unusual combination of events has assisted mutton prices by limiting supply.

“In the South East and lower South East region of the state lamb sales have ramped-up and will continue throughout November. Expectations are high ahead of the blue ribbon first cross ewe and ewe lamb sales in Naracoorte, scheduled for 11 November and 18 November. Other sales of note include 10,000 first cross lambs at Telang on 5 November and 15,000 first cross Border Leicester Merino lambs from ‘Cooranga’ on 19 November.” – Laryn Gogel, Elders Livestock Manager.

View all upcoming sheep sales

Market indicators

Table comparing trade lamb and mutton prices over time.

*Last available price.

Note: States without sufficient data for the current month or without data for a specific stock category will not appear in the table.

**The forecast shown on the graph is derived from an auto regression model (ARIMA) which was used to generate the high and low 68pc confidence interval. The ARIMA model draws on data from 2016 to now. The model is purely mathematical and should only be used as a guide for where prices could land in the next two months.

Sources: Price data reproduced courtesy of Meat & Livestock Australia Limited.

The information contained in this article is given for the purpose of providing general information only, and while Elders has exercised reasonable care, skill and diligence in its preparation, many factors (including environmental and seasonal) can impact its accuracy and currency. Accordingly, the information should not be relied upon under any circumstances and Elders assumes no liability for any loss consequently suffered. If you would like to speak to someone for tailored advice relating to any of the matters referred to in this article, please contact Elders.

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