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Friday, May 15, 2015

Lambs in WA tread water while steers at the 100th percentile

By Augusto Semmelroth  |  Source: MLA's NLRS

Lamb markets have largely tracked sideways in WA since the start of the year, with most indicators ranging between their 80th and 90th percentile levels during the period. Markets in the east have already made a move towards the 95th level and WA is likely to follow. Overall, WA cattle markets remain firm, with feeder and yearling steers at their peak. Cows have seen a minor correction in recent weeks.

Key points:

  • WA lamb markets have been relatively stable since the start of the year, with trade lambs ranging between 480¢ and 545¢, but largely around the 500-520¢/kg cwt mark.
  • In percentile terms, trade lambs finished last week at 522¢/kg cwt, or the 89th percentile.
  • Heavy lambs were better supplied over the last two weeks, and moved to a discount to trade lambs of around 20-30¢/kg cwt at the saleyard level. In percentile terms, they are also slightly behind at the 85th level.
  • Light lambs underperformed heavier lines in relative terms in the last month or so to move to a 50¢ discount to trade lamb last week, and the 76th percentile.
  • With eastern states lamb supplies starting to ease, removing some of the pressure on export markets, more upside should be expected for WA markets in the short term.
  • Mutton prices are also tracking at a solid discount to the east (around 70¢), and below their 80th percentile. That said, we expect WA prices to correct on the upside and bridge the gap to the east going into winter if seasonal conditions remain favourable.
  • On the cattle market front, heavy cows have eased from a peak of 235¢/kg lwt in early April to around 200-210¢/kg lwt in the last month or so. This puts them more in line with eastern states prices and back to the 97th percentile.
  • Pastoral cow prices have also eased from their peak in mid-March, but are finding strong support at around 170¢/kg lwt.
  • Cow markets saw a minor price correction in recent weeks. However, store and finished steer prices have stayed around their 99-100th percentile levels as supply remains insufficient to cope with strong export demand.
  • As of last week, heavy and feeder yearlings were quoted around the 275¢/kg lwt (or 515¢/kg cwt).
  • With supplies starting to dwindle on the east coast, eastern markets have finally bridged the gap to WA levels. That is likely to provide some extra support for WA markets in winter when numbers contract further.

Mecardo information is provided to assist in your marketing decisions. It contains a range of data and views on the current market. It is not intended to constitute advice for a specific purpose. Before taking any action in relation to information contained within this report, you should seek advice from a qualified professional. The information is obtained from a variety of sources and neither Mecardo nor Ag Concepts Advisory will be held liable for any loss or damage whatsoever that may arise from the use of information or for any error or mis-statement contained in this report. 

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