Concerns over WA lamb, sheep and mutton prices

WA SHEEP and lamb producers are becoming increasingly frustrated with the constant price disparity paid by meat processors in the west compared to the prices paid for the same products in the east.
Concerns over WA lamb, sheep and mutton prices Concerns over WA lamb, sheep and mutton prices Concerns over WA lamb, sheep and mutton prices Concerns over WA lamb, sheep and mutton prices Concerns over WA lamb, sheep and mutton prices

Frustrated farmers want to know why WA sheep prices are so low compared to other states.

Alex Paull

The state’s leading farming organisation believes lamb prices in the west have generally been lower than in the east over the past decade.

“Since 2003, the WA Trade Lamb Indicator has averaged a 37 cent per kilo carcase weight discount to the Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator,” WAFarmers Livestock president John Wallace said.

“We do not understand why western processors are constantly discounting lamb, mutton and skins produced in the west when there is no difference in qualities.

“The only thing we can think of is that while lamb from both the east and west ends up in export markets, perhaps the smaller WA slaughter means fewer buyers and less competition in markets.”

Wallace said attraction and retention of people in the sheep industry is difficult enough without such discrepancies in product price.

“The lower prices for lamb, mutton and skin prices are sending out all the wrong messages to sheep producers,” he said.

“Many producers are choosing to take advantage of the higher prices offered by eastern state processors and lamb finishers.

“It also has implications for lamb and mutton processors in WA who needs this supply to balance their bottom lines with all year round supplies.”