Weekly Product Updates

W40: Mutton & Lamb Update

Market & Price Trends
Published Oct 13, 2023

In W40 in the lamb and mutton landscape, sales were impacted by public holidays in Australia, leading to reduced yardings. Lamb numbers decreased by 82.19 thousand heads week-on-week (WoW) to 120.65 thousand heads, while sheep yardings dropped by 17.87 thousand heads to 168.69 thousand heads. Indicator prices registered significant increases in W40 compared to W39. The trade lamb indicator rose by USD 0.29 to USD 3.04 per kilogram (kg) carcass weight (cwt), while the mutton indicator surged by USD 0.41 to USD 1.08/kg cwt. Despite the decline in sales affecting indicator performance, prices increased in all sale yards that operated, except for the South Australia (SA) Livestock Exchange and Warwick.

Australian public holidays also impacted processor capacity, resulting in lower slaughter numbers in W40 than in W39. Australian combined sheep and lamb slaughter dropped by 55.6 thousand heads WoW to 577.99 thousand heads in W40. Slaughter numbers declined in all states except SA and Queensland. The largest kill drop was registered in Victorian lamb slaughter, falling 32.17 thousand heads WoW to 196.87 thousand heads. Australia’s lamb exports increased by 26% year-on-year (YoY), while mutton shipments rose by 30% YoY to 16.44 thousand metric tons (mt). Shipments were primarily destined for China, Australia's largest export market, surging by 42% YoY to 16.02 thousand mt.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) reports that 59.52 thousand sheep were processed in Ireland in W39, an 8.76% year-on-year (YoY) decline. Spring lambs totaled 49.2 thousand heads, a decrease of 6.2% YoY, accounting for a substantial 82.67% of throughput. The year-to-date (YTD) sheep processing volumes reached 2.12 million heads, a 1.4% YoY decrease. Hogget processing accounted for the majority of YTD kills at 980.76 thousand heads (+9% YoY), followed by 904.2 thousand spring lambs (-7.57% YoY), while ewes and rams amounted to 238.42 thousand heads (-13.6% YoY), and 134 light lambs (+15 YoY). The price for deadweight sheep weighing between 13 kg and 21.5 kg and under 12 months old stood at USD 3.92/kg in W39, a slight 0.3% YoY increase. However, YTD's average price stood at USD 4.25/kg, a decrease of 4% compared to the same period in 2022.

Lastly, the State Customs Service reports that Ukraine’s live sheep and goat exports reached 347 mt, valued at USD 385 thousand from Jan-23 to Aug-23. This represents a notable decrease of 42.1% in volume and a 2.3% decline in value compared to the same period in 2022. Ukraine’s live sheep and goat shipments totaled 75 mt, worth USD 83 thousand in Aug-23. Ukrainian exports were primarily destined for Lebanon in the first eight months of 2023. Notably, Ukraine has not imported live sheep and goats since the beginning of 2023.

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