Australia's lamb market is continuing to be strong, with the National Trade Lamb Indicator climbing to an unprecedented 951c/kg.
The figure was reached last Monday, marking the first time ever the NTLI had gone over 950/kg.
By Wednesday the NTLI had dropped back by 2 per cent to 931c/kg but on Monday it bounced back up to 935c/kg.
MLA market information manager Stephen Bignell said the record-breaking figure was largely driven by new season lambs hitting the market.
"We hit the start of the spring flush, they started to come up in numbers, as the number of old season lambs diminish and obviously there's a premium for new season lambs," he said.
"We got to that tipping point and saw a new record really, largely being driven out of Wagga and Cowra.
"Forbes was making up 14 per cent of the trade lamb figures but they were slightly below the record with Wagga and Cowra making up around 30pc together and they were sitting at 960c/kg and 966c/kg."
A soft Australian dollar and processor demand to meet international export orders, particularly from the US and China, have also helped drive up the prices.
But questions remain over how processing capacity might affect prices going forward with the Victorian government last week implementing a 20 per cent reduction in processing capacity for Victorian plants, following on from the temporary closure of Fletchers in Dubbo, NSW.
Mr Bignell said last year saw a similar situation with restrictions on processing capacity, where New South Wales and South Australia were able to increase production in response to Victorian restrictions.
"It will be interesting to see how that plays out but the high prices go into a wider piece about the demand globally," he said.
"There's definitely demand for lamb because we've got the African swine fever issue and protein deficit at a global perspective.
"We are expecting a bigger lamb cohort this year, sales and lambs on hand we expect to be up so that will put a bit of supply pressure.
"Until this peak last week the prices had been a little bit softer than 2019 and 2020.
"That's a supply thing. We're going to have more lambs this year than we had in the drought in 2019 and last year there was a lot of restocker sentiment so people were holding animals, I wouldn't speculate on where the prices are going to go but overall all the principles are quite positive."
The past 12 months have seen the NTLI has rise by 313c/kg, a price lift of 33pc.
In the national indicators, light lamb, Merino lamb and restocker lamb all rose, with light lamb up by 17c to 859c/kg, Merino lamb up by 28c to 842c and restocker lamb jumping up 41c to 1,030c/kg.
Mutton also rose by 1c to 679c/kg.
Heavy lamb however dropped by 11c to 972c/kg.
The Eastern States Trade Lamb indicator is also continuing to hold strong. Although it dropped back this Monday 8c from where it was last week to sit at 952c/kg, it remains 274c higher than it was this time last year.
Other Eastern States indicators to rise were restocker lamb leaping 37c to 1036c/kg, Merino lamb up 31c to 859c/kg and light lambs up 8c to 878c/kg.
Heavy lamb dropped 8c to 979c and mutton went down 2c to 688c/kg.
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