BOTH prime cattle and lamb markets have started the year dearer, following the first full week of trading across the eastern states.
The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) ended Thursday's trading at 515.50 cents a kilogram (carcase weight), which was up nearly 40c/kg on where it ended trading in 2019.
Likewise, figures from Meat and Livestock Australia indicate the yearling steer indicator for livestock sold right across the eastern states was up about 10c/kg (liveweight) to settle at 279c/kg.
Average prices for heavy steers, mostly destined for the export markets, hit 278.5c/kg. This was about 3.5c/kg dearer than last week's indicator.
The medium weight cow market was at least 20c/kg dearer with the eastern states cow indicator climbing to 206c/kg on Thursday afternoon.
Medium weight steers were the only cattle to go against the dearer trend, slipping 2.25c/kg to 256.25c/kg.
In the lamb markets, the Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator surged 21c/kg (cwt) in the past week to hit 738c/kg. This was also up about 40c/kg on December 2019 averages and nearly 90c/kg more than at the some time last year.
Restocker lambs attracted solid buyer competition to average 775c/kg which was 111c/kg dearer than at the some time in 2019.
Heavy lambs averaged 731c/kg and were also at least 20c/kg more than a month ago.
The mutton indicator was steady at 572c/kg, however it's worth noting that's nearly 200c/kg higher than this time last year.