Mutton madness - Western Australia mutton prices lowest in the country

Market & Price Trends
Published Apr 17, 2024

Tridge summary

The mutton market in Western Australia (WA) is facing significant challenges, with prices substantially lower than those in the Eastern States, attributed to factors such as dry seasonal conditions, a lack of local processing demand, and increased freight and yarding costs. This has led to a 71 percent price disparity compared to the national mutton indicator. Efforts by Thomas Foods International to transport sheep from WA to the Eastern States aim to alleviate the oversupply and market depression, with around 150,000 sheep moved. Despite these efforts, the WA sheep flock is expected to diminish, potentially altering the mutton and lamb market landscape next year. The situation underscores the impact of regional disparities, seasonal conditions, and market dynamics on the livestock industry.
Disclaimer: The above summary was generated by Tridge's proprietary AI model for informational purposes.

Original content

There is more than double the money in mutton over east compared to WA, with livestock industry representatives labelling the price difference as alarming. As of the week ending April 12, the WA mutton saleyard indicator is sitting at about 80 cents per kilogram carcase weight (c/kg cwt), which is a 71 per cent discount to the national mutton indicator of 266c/kg cwt. These are the lowest returns for mutton in the country - falling behind Queensland 182c/kg cwt, South Australia 191c/kg cwt, Tasmania 205c/kg cwt, Victoria 284c/kg cwt and New South Wales 297c/kg cwt. It is in stark contrast to April-July 2023 when the market peaked at 306c/kg cwt. For many WA producers the price is not worth sending their sheep to saleyards, particularly when the cost of freight and yarding fees are factored in. However, they are left with few alternatives, as dry seasonal conditions persist and feed and water supplies run short. This, coupled with a reduced demand for processing mutton locally, is ...
Source: Farmweekly
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