In the run up to the Easter break east coast processing levels dipped for cattle, sheep and lamb. The week ending 15th April saw cattle volumes at meat works ease 21% to register 74,147 head processed. Although, not as soft as the Easter lull in 2021 of 70,660 head.
East coast lamb processing throughput recorded the same magnitude decline, down 21% on the week to 277,630 head. Just like cattle, lamb throughout isn’t as soft as we saw it last season with weekly throughput dipping to 267,307 over Easter 2021.
Mutton slaughter volumes took the biggest percentage hit, falling 36% to 57,984 head for the week ending 15th April. Sheep slaughter volumes coming in lower this season than the dip to 60,826 head seen in 2021.
Reduced processor activity over the Easter break has flowed through to lower finished cattle prices with the National Heavy Steer easing 4% this week. As of yesterday the Heavy Steer was 435 c/kg lwt, down from 453 cents the previous week.
Meanwhile, young cattle prices are virtually unchanged. The Eeastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) posted a 2 cent increase from last week to register 1087 c/kg cwt yesterday. Meanwhile WA haven’t yet recorded any fresh young cattle prices since the Easter break so the market sits at 1202 c/kg cwt.
The Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator (ESTLI) saw a marginal lift of 0.6% to 791 c/kg cwt, up from 786 c/kg. In the West there were limited sales and the thin markets saw a strong 15.1% decline in the WA Trade Lamb Indicator (WATLI). The WATLI staged a fall from 651 c/kg cwt to close at 553 c/kg earlier this week at the Katanning sale.
The National Mutton Indicator saw a respectable 6% increase, up from 564 c/kg cwt to close at 598 c/kg, yesterday.