Sheep update – June 2022
At a glance
- Lamb prices increase again in June driven by low supply ahead of new season lambs.
- Cold weather has impacted pasture growth in some regions with the potential to increase finishing times come spring.
National trade lamb prices increased in June driven by a traditional low point in supply over winter, a trend that could continue in July ahead of new season lambs. The average national price for June was 791 c/kg cwt, a 2.5 per cent (pc) increase on May.
Ahead of the new financial year, ABARES June quarter forecast suggests an increase in sheep numbers of 0.4 pc in 2022/23, taking the national total to 69.3 million head. Lamb slaughter volumes are expected to increase by 2.4 pc to 21.5 million head.
Saleyard prices are expected to decline because of increased supply, with the national average for lamb forecast to be 740 c/kg cwt. This is a 10.5 pc decline compared to 2021/22. At 740 c/kg cwt the forecast is well below the two-year average of 818 c/kg cwt.
The Elders Weather outlook forecasts multiple cold fronts across southern and eastern Australia from 7 to 11 and 19 to 23 July. Rain events from the tropics have the potential to move south and generate rain from the 27 June to 1 July. The cold fronts are expected to bring widespread rain. In Western Australia (WA), the strongest cold fronts will start from 7 to 11 and 12 to 16 July.
From the field
Northern South Australia
“The north and west regions of the state have now had a break to the season, off the backend of opening rains through the Mid North and Yorke Peninsula at the start of June.
“The north-west pastoral districts have continued the promising start to the year with mild weather and the odd rainfall event here and there. Whilst the North East Pastoral District has benefited from a few smaller rainfall events.
“There has been a slight increase in lamb prices (especially the well-finished trade lambs) as the numbers run out due to paddocks being cleared for cropping programs. The lack of feed lotters operating through the winter months due to extremely high grain prices, will inevitably have an effect on lamb supply until the new season lambs arrive in August to September.
“Feed issues (quantity and quality) in some parts of the north (Mid North and Yorke Peninsula in particular) combined with the cooler days and evenings saw those areas struggle to get new season lambs “up and going”. This will inevitably delay supply of killable lambs, with many fatteners seriously considering marketing stores this year, subject to demand and price expectations.
“Overall, all districts have seen average or better lambing and marking rates in 2022.” – Damien Webb, Elders Livestock Manager, Northern South Australia
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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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