Processors and Prices
Weekly east coast cattle slaughter volumes lifted 9% from the previous week to see 97,253 head processed as at 24th June 2022. This is the highest weekly slaughter volumes seen so far this year for east coast cattle, but current processing levels still remain 27% under the five-year average level for this week in the year.
East coast lamb slaughter has also made a weekly record high for the season with 368,271 head processed. Lamb processing throughput has jumped 19% over the week and current volumes are running 14% above the five-year trend for this week in the season.
Meanwhile, weekly east coast sheep slaughter sits just 2% under the five-year average trend for this week in the year with 79,194 head processed for the week ending on 24th June. Sheep slaughter lifted 17% over the week but it wasn’t enough to get above the average seasonal pattern.
Cattle markets have hit the skids over the last fortnight. Since the middle of June the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) has eased 5.4% to close yesterday at 1028 c/kg cwt. The Western Young Cattle Indicator (WYCI) came under heavier pressure than east coast markets, dropping 9.3% to finish at 1004 c/kg cwt. The National Heavy Steer mirrored falls seen in eastern young cattle markets, down 5.2% to finish yesterday at 436 c/kg lwt.
The Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator (ESTLI) has remained relatively stable over the last fortnight with prices almost unchanged, closing at 781 c/kg cwt yesterday. In the West trade lamb prices have been under pressure, dropping 6.1% over the last fortnight to close at 601 c/kg cwt. The current price spread between west coast and east coast trade lamb sits at a 23% discount. Historic pricing shows that the long term average discount for WA trade lamb to east coast trade lamb sits at 9% so current trade lamb prices in the west are performing particularly poorly. The national mutton indicator has dropped 9.3% over the last fortnight closing at 567 c/kg cwt yesterday.