AUSTRALIA - Back in January 2014, trade weight lambs at NLRS reported saleyards in New South Wales averaged 402¢/kg cwt, which was similar to the equivalent category in Victoria, averaging 400¢/kg cwt – a margin of only 2¢/kg cwt.
Meat and Livestock Australia said that fast forward one year, to January 2015, and NSW trade lambs were 138¢/kg cwt dearer, averaging 541¢/kg cwt – now 10¢/kg cwt higher than their Victorian counterparts, which averaged 531¢/kg cwt.
Trade weight lambs sold at SA saleyards during the first month of 2015 averaged 503¢/kg cwt, up 109¢/kg cwt year-on-year.
Three months into 2015, trade lamb prices in New South Wales have fallen considerably since the beginning of the year.
So far in March, trade lambs in New South Wales have declined 52¢kg cwt since January and 51¢/kg cwt on year-ago levels, to 488¢/kg cwt, while those sold at Victorian saleyards have declined 22¢/kg cwt since January and 20¢ year-on-year, to 509¢/kg cwt.
Victorian trade lamb saleyard prices now have a 21¢/kg cwt advantage over New South Wales.
In contrast, South Australia trade lamb prices have eased only 1¢/kg cwt since January and have lifted 28¢/kg cwt on the corresponding month last year, averaging 502¢/kg cwt so far in March.
Heavy weight lambs in New South Wales also kicked off 2015 on a stronger note than the previous year (up 119¢), averaging 546¢/kg cwt in January.
Although, this solid lead has deteriorated through to March, with the state average now 48¢ lower than January levels and 59¢ lower than last year, at 497¢/kg cwt. It was a similar trend for Victoria and South Australia in January, as heavy lamb prices in both states averaged just over 100¢/kg cwt dearer year-on-year, but have since followed a downward trajectory.
Heavy lambs in Victoria have slipped 31¢ since January and 43¢ on the same time last year, averaging 501¢/kg cwt in March to date. Across SA saleyards, heavy weight lambs have averaged 489¢/kg cwt in March – down 37¢ since January and 25¢ year-on-year.
In January, mutton saleyard prices had almost doubled year-ago levels across NSW, Victoria and South Australia, averaging 328¢, 347¢ and 338¢/kg cwt, respectively, and, come March, all three states have maintained higher prices than year-ago levels.
Interestingly, mutton saleyard prices in New South Wales have risen 6¢ since January, averaging 334¢/kg cwt in March so far, while the equivalent categories in SA and Victoria have declined 29¢ and 13¢, respectively, averaging 318¢ and 326¢/kg cwt.
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