Bullish on lamb

Livestock | 18th March 2024 | By Matt Dalgleish

Market Morsel

Updated sheep industry projections from Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) allow us to re-calculate our National Trade Lamb Indicator (NTLI) fair value model for annual average forecast prices. In 2023 the model predicted fair value range to be between 576 c/kg to 766 c/kg cwt and over the year the NTLI ranged between a low of 411 cents and a high of 812 cents. As an annual average figure the model suggested 671 cents was the fair value average for 2023 and the actual average for the year came in at 587 cents, so the model was about 14% too optimistic.

Looking to 2024 the model suggests an annual average of 672c/kg cwt, so it is broadly expecting this year to be fairly similar in pricing to 2023 based on current projections for lamb slaughter, flock numbers, export demand levels and the AUD/USD value. In terms of a fair value range  for 2024 the model predicts a range of 574c/kg to 769 c/kg.

For 2025 the model suggests an annual average NLTI of 780c/kg cwt with a fair value range of 668 cents to 894 cents. In 2026 the model places the annual average NTLI at 822c/kg cwt with a range of 703 cents  to 942 cents. Bear in mind that all of the forecasts and ranges outlined here are based on current model inputs which can be subject to change and this means the forecasts can be revised in light of any updated model inputs.

Another aspect to take into account for the longer term projections is that the model assumes a normal rainfall pattern. A move to significant dry periods in either 2025 or 2026 could see the model forecasts revised downwards.

It is important to bear in mind that any changes to current model inputs will impact the fair value ranges and annual average predictions supplied in this article. The EP3 NTLI model aims to predict the fair value level of the NTLI based on a selection of demand and supply factors that have historically exerted an influence on the NTLI. There is no guarantee that this model will continue to be accurate into the future and any individuals considering this model and it’s output in their decision to buy/sell or breed lambs should exercise caution, consider their own individual circumstances and seek advice specific to their personal situation.


  • NTLI
  • Forecast
  • Supply and Demand
  • Prices
  • Modelling