Sheep update - May 2022 - Elders Rural Services

Sheep update – May 2022

At a glance

  • Lamb prices ease further as supply remains elevated due to limited processing capacity.
  • The autumn break arrives for most southern sheep graziers with more rain on the way.

Market fundamentals

National trade lamb prices declined by a further four per cent (pc) in April. Increased supply stemming from earlier processor disruptions continue to constrain prices. The national trade lamb indicator currently sits two per cent below year ago levels.

At state level, Queensland and South Australia recorded the largest decline in trade lamb prices, down by 18pc and 11pc respectively. Tasmania was the only state to record an increase, up by three per cent.

Mutton prices increased by five per cent in April reversing the decline experienced in March, prices remain five per cent lower than year ago.

The Elders Weather outlook forecasts multiple cold fronts across southern and eastern Australia from 10 to 14 and 24 to 28 May. Rain events from the tropics have the potential to move south and generate rain from the 5 May. The cold fronts are expected to bring widespread rain. In Western Australia (WA), the strongest cold fronts will start from 9 to 13 and again from 24 to 28 May.

Graph showing national trade lamb prices eased further in April.

From the field

Victoria and Riverina

“Southern markets are relatively settled at present. Lamb prices have softened but remain in a holding pattern constrained by processor capacity as a result of COVID restrictions.

“From a seasonal conditions perspective most regions except for areas in the far south have had something that has resembled an autumn break in the past week, with more rain forecast.

“Overall, sheep producers in Victoria and the Riverina are content with where the season sits heading into May.” – Matt Tinkler, Elders Livestock Manager, Victoria and Riverina.

Market indicators

Table containing lamb and mutton price comparisons.

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

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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