W37: Mutton & Lamb Update

Published Sep 21, 2023
W37: Mutton & Lamb Update

In W37 in the lamb and mutton landscape, the Australian market trends displayed a notable divergence, with certain indicator prices experiencing increases while others eased. Yardings witnessed an uptick of 20.81 thousand heads week-on-week (WoW) to 239.58 thousand heads. This rise was primarily attributed to New South Wales (NSW), where lamb yardings surged by 18.67 thousand heads to 172.02 thousand heads, while sheep yardings remained stable at 45.07 thousand heads. Lamb yarding number reductions were observed in all states except NSW and Queensland.

The heavy lamb indicator in the Australian market exhibited some strength in W37, recording a USD 0.013 increase to USD 2.91 per kilogram (kg) carcass weight (cwt). Notably, strong sales in Bendigo drove this price surge, offsetting reductions in Wagga Wagga, Forbes, and Corowa. Prices generally held steady for younger lambs, heavier lambs, and those in good condition. However, demand for plainer stock remained subdued, resulting in significant price disparities based on quality. The Australian mutton indicator followed its frequent pattern for 2023 in W37, declining by USD 0.15 to USD 0.73/kg cwt. This easing was consistent across sale yards, except for Muchea, where mutton prices increased by USD 0.09 after a substantial drop in W36.

The combined Australian lamb and sheep slaughter increased by 22.48 thousand heads to 618.32 thousand heads in W37. This increase was primarily due to a surge in lamb slaughter, rising by 20.17 thousand heads to 463.81 thousand heads. The slaughter volume marks the highest weekly lamb kills since Apr-19 and the largest for September on record.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) reveals that 59.09 thousand sheep were processed in Ireland in W36, a 3% year-on-year (YoY) decline. Spring lambs totaled 50.18 thousand heads, an increase of 10% YoY, accounting for a substantial 85% of throughput. The year-to-date (YTD) sheep processing volumes reached 1.95 million heads, a 1% YoY decrease. Hogget processing accounted for the majority of YTD kills at 979.99 thousand heads (+9% YoY), followed by 755.58 thousand spring lambs (-8% YoY), while ewes and rams amounted to 209.5 thousand heads (-12% YoY), and 130 light lambs (+17% YoY).

Lastly, Iran's ambassador to Kenya, Jafar Barmaki, announced the successful shipment of the first consignment of fresh sheep meat from Kenya to Iran on September 12. The ambassador revealed that additional shipments are scheduled, promising a continuous flow of meat imports to Iran. This development can potentially contribute to a meat price reduction in Iran. Kenya predominantly raises the Persian Black Head sheep breed, introduced over 25 years ago. Ambassador Barmaki expressed hope that the Kenyan sheep meat taste would find favor among the Iranian population.

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