The slide in the Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator (ESTLI) came to a halt this week. From last Wednesday (31st) the ESTLI improved 1¢ to 842¢/kg cwt which is 7% under the same time last year. In the West, the market was stronger, with the Trade Lamb Indicator gaining 26¢ to 730¢/kg cwt.
Solid demand was found for Restocker lambs. In NSW the indicator lifted 38¢ to 1,022¢/kg cwt, a momentum which was also felt in Victoria, where the Restocker Indicator gained 30¢ to 930¢/kg cwt. Both these indicators are sitting on or close to year-ago levels.
It was steady as she goes for Heavy and Merino lambs, with both National Indicators unchanged over the period. The Mutton market is really on the move. The National Mutton Indicator gained another 17¢, continuing the rally that began in February to end this week at 677¢/kg cwt.
East coast lamb slaughter fell 22% to 268,424 head processed in the week before Easter. Sheep slaughter volumes were also 20% lighter than the week prior. While these pre-Easter slaughter volumes are low in historical comparison, they are higher than volumes recorded pre easter in 2020, when the uncertainty of Covid was at its peak.