Lamb 1 Beef 0

Livestock | 1st February 2024 | By Matt Dalgleish

Market Morsel

The release of quarterly Consumer Price Index (CPI) data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) provides the opportunity to update the producer share of the retail dollar calculation that we publish regularly for beef and lamb producers.

During the final quarter of 2023 saleyard cattle prices continued to ease, with the saleyard cattle index slipping nearly 17% from 314 in Q3 to 262. Over the same time frame the retail beef index eased marginally from 266 to 262. This slight drop in the retail beef index equates to a decline in average beef prices at the supermarket/butcher from $26.19/kg to $25.80/kg over the December quarter.

In contrast, the saleyard lamb index lifted by 8% from 255 to 276 during the final quarter of 2023. At the retail level, the lamb price index posted a sharp 12% drop from 289 to 254. This discounting of lamb at the retail level equated to a fall in average retail lamb pricing from $18.49/kg in Q3 2023 to $16.25/kg during Q4.

The steady decline in saleyard cattle prices during Q4 2023, combined with the marginal easing of retail beef prices, saw the beef producer share of the retail dollar spend on beef drop to the lowest point since the data began reaching a lull of 25.8%. This is exactly where the indicator began back in Q1 1998.

It has been a more positive outcome for lamb producers though with their share of the retail spend lifting from 36.5% in Q3 2023 to 45% for the final quarter of 2023.

This analysis is released in conjunction with Beef Central and Sheep Central. To view the earlier September quarter release of the producer share of the retail beef and retail lamb spend click the link below.

September Quarter 2023 Release



  • Retail
  • Producer Share
  • Processing
  • Beef
  • Sheep
  • Lamb