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NLRS adjusts sheep market reporting as prices fall

THE National Livestock Reporting Service (NLRS) is now reporting sheep and lambs sold from $1/head in all its market reports to reflect current market conditions, down from its previous reporting minimum of $10/head.

Staff Writer
 NLRS adjusts market reporting as sheep prices fall. Picture Mark Saunders.

NLRS adjusts market reporting as sheep prices fall. Picture Mark Saunders.

National Merino lamb, mutton and light lamb indicators, calculated from NLRS reported salesyards, dropped by 105.98c/kg cwt, 102.44c/kg cwt and 41.53c/kg cwt this week respectively, when compared to the previous week. 

The National Mutton Indicator hit a new 12-month low of 104.40c/kg cwt ($30.12/head), while the National Merino Lamb Indicator was 222.36c/kg cwt ($47.56/head) today, up marginally from its 12-month low of 219.88c/kg cwt ($50.60/head) on 11 September.

The National Light Lamb Indicator was also up slightly from 302.85c/kg cwt ($55.18/head) from its 12-month low of 256.44c/kg cwt ($46.81/head) on 6 September.  

NLRS reports showed old seasons lambs fetched as little as $1/head this week at Katanning, Western Australia, and at South Eastern Livestock Exchange Yass, New South Wales. Minimums were as low as $5-6/head at other NSW saleyards, and bottomed out at $7/head at Powranna, Tasmania, and $9/head at Naracoorte, South Australia.

Extremely light young lambs were also selling for as little as $2/head at South Australia Livestock Exchange, according to NLRS, with young wethers selling at a minimum of $5/head at Katanning.  

However, Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) Global Supply Analyst, Tim Jackson, said indicators were mixed and some lifted this week, with the restocker lamb indicator up 25c over the week to 280c/kg cwt.

Restocker purchases of new season lambs at Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange Carcoar, NSW, saw the indicator at that saleyard climb 93c to 295c/kg cwt, Wagga, NSW, saw an increase of 36c to 395c/kg cwt.

New season lambs are commonly making up a significant portion of lamb yardings, according to Jackson, who said 17,600 new seasons lambs made up 30 per cent of the yarding in Wagga.

Overall, lamb yardings lifted by 2,294 to 174,317 head, while sheep numbers fell by 12,028 to 55,529 head, for a total yarding of 229,846 head, 9,734 lower than the previous week.

SHEEP PRODUCER INTENSIONS SURVEY

MLA said the wave of its Sheep Producer Intentions Survey (SPIS) will go out to sheep producers across the country on 2 October.

It said the survey is an essential source of information about producer intentions and circumstances for industry and is increasingly important for understanding dynamics in the market.

The previous survey can be found here, and more information about the October wave coming soon.

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