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Historical Trend for Lamb Prices

19 November 2013
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - In many cases the best indication of what the future may bring is to look at what has happened in the past, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.

A review of the Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator (ESTLI) over the past 15 years, reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service, illustrates a clear trend between prices in the first week of November compared to prices in the first week of February the following year.

For trade lambs (18 – 22kg cwt), since 1997, there have been only two of the past 15 years where prices have started February at a lower level than they were in the first week of November.

The two years bucking the trend, 2000 and 2012, were years when large supplies entered the market on the back of very dry conditions throughout summer.
Including the eight per cent, or 20A¢ decline from the two years (2000 and 2012) combined, the ESTLI for the past 15 years has averaged an increase of 17 per cent, or 49A¢ between the first week of November and the beginning of February.

The largest increase was registered in 2011, up 32 per cent or 151A¢, on the back of widespread summer rainfall and a sharp decline in turnoff.

The ESTLI this week averaged 402A¢/kg cwt, up 7A¢ week-on-week, underpinned by improved buyer confidence, after wide spread showers in southern regions of the eastern states throughout the week.

Furthermore, anecdotal evidence suggests that the record lamb turnoff in Australia (14.3 million head) so far in 2013, coupled with equally high slaughter levels in New Zealand, will likely see supply tighten significantly at the beginning of 2014.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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