A momentary lapse of lamb

Livestock | 26th October 2020 | By Matt Dalgleish

The Snapshot

  • East coast lamb yarding levels ease 39% from 276,000 head to 167,000 head.
  • Victorian lamb yarding levels were off 30% on the week prior and NSW sale yards recorded declines of 42%.
  • The largest week on week magnitude declines in lamb throughout was reserved for SA, posting a 45% drop from the week prior.

The Detail

Weekly east coast lamb yarding levels have eased 39% with falls noted across all mainland east coast states. A fortnight ago weekly lamb yardings were running at just over 276,000 head, 33% ahead of the five year trend. However, last week total lamb yarding came in at nearly 168,000 head, putting the trend back below the five year average for this time in the season by 9%.

Victorian lamb yarding levels were off 30% on the week prior to see nearly 53,000 head presented. This represents sale yard lamb volumes nearly 10% under the five-year seasonal trend for this time in the year.

Weekly NSW lamb throughput showed a big decline with a 42% easing from the week prior, but weekly volumes were coming off quite a high base. A fortnight ago NSW sale yards saw over 170,000 head of lamb offered, 45% higher than the average seasonal pattern for this time of the year.

This week NSW sale yards recorded a fraction over 99,000 head of lamb. While a significant drop from the week prior it represents volumes just 2% under the five-year average pattern.

South Australian sale yards are in the midst of their spring lamb flush, but as the yarding pattern demonstrates it is not uncommon to see a dip in volume this time in the year.

The 2019 pattern shows a similar magnitude fall and this week lamb throughout numbers in South Australia were off by 45%, the largest magnitude easing of all the mainland east coast states. SA reported nearly 16,000 head of lamb presented last week, 33% under the five-year average trend for this time in the season.


  • Lamb
  • Throughput
  • Supply and Demand