JUST when many of us were wondering if it would rain again before Christmas, some areas managed a nice little drink during the weekend.
This had an immediate affect on the markets with both cattle and lamb indicators climbing or stabilising early this week.
The saleyard results of the past week have been the first significant lift in young cattle prices since the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator’s slow decline from mid-June.
At the close of sales early this week, the EYCI was on 530.25 cents a kilogram (carcase weight), which was up more than 20c/kg on the week before.
The EYCI has almost recovered all of the losses from the past month.
It wasn’t just the young cattle market that recorded a boost.
Bigger steers in the 500kg to 600kg range galloped higher to average about 270c/kg (liveweight).
That’s a healthy lift of nearly 30c/kg in the past week.
Cull cow prices turned the corner after weeks of cheaper rates.
Most sales were averaging 206c/kg, up more than 10c/kg when compared to the same time last week.
The boost to the lamb market was not as dramatic as the cattle market.
For the most part the sheep and lamb indicators stabilised.
However, we need to remember that at this time of year, now that the new season lambs are really starting to flow, the market does tend to be a bit more volatile and generally start to loose its gloss.
It’s not uncommon for lamb prices to experience a gentle slide as we head towards Christmas.
Early this week, trade lambs in NSW were averaging 600c/kg, restocker lambs 595c/kg and mutton was on 388c/kg.
Certainly the demand for Australian lamb overseas has helping support prices at the saleyards.
Australian lamb exports last month were slightly more than 19,700 tonnes (shipped weight) according to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
That’s a lift of 13 per cent year-on-year.
Shipments to the US and China, two of the largest markets (on volume basis) for Australian lamb, increased 25pc and 30pc from last year to 39,940t and 35,047t, respectively.