Market Morsel: Early slaughter signals tight season ahead

Livestock | 15th January 2021 | By Matt Dalgleish

Market Morsel

Opening weekly slaughter figures for cattle and sheep markets have all come in lower than the 2020 trend signalling another tight season ahead.

  • East coast cattle slaughter has started the year 35% under the five-year average pattern and 43% below the levels seen at the start of 2020.
  • East coast mutton slaughter opened the season 32% below the five-year average trend and 45% under the 2020 pattern.
  • East coast lamb slaughter has started 2021 at weekly levels 22% under the seasonal five-year average pattern and 20% below the levels seen at the start of 2020.

While it is still fairly early in the season the tight start is a development to continue to keep an eye on as the year progresses. We are already anticipating another difficult year for beef processors with margins spending much of 2020 in the red this pattern looks to continue into 2021.


  • Beef
  • Cattle
  • Sheep
  • Lamb
  • Slaughter