The lamb market is beginning to see the impacts of new season lambs entering the market in greater numbers, with Tuesday’s Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator (ESTLI) decreasing 25¢ on the week prior.
A downward trend is not surprising, considering the yarding last week was the highest seen so far in 2019.
Last week’s national lamb yarding was up 36% on a fortnight ago to 244,000 head. This is the largest yarding since December last year, when the Victorian lamb season reached a yearly peak.
The increase has been predominantly driven by NSW saleyards, accounting for 58% of total, with Forbes, Yass, Corowa and Wagga all yarding over 15,000 lambs.
While supply has hit a 2019 high, it is not uncommon for yardings to increase at this time of year.
Generally, yardings increase by 14% from the yearly average during October and by 29% in November.
This seasonal increase through late spring generally coincides with a drop in prices, as buyers are well covered heading towards the new year.
Over a five year period, the ESTLI has dropped an average of 4% from September/October to November/December period.
If the ESTLI were to see a similar trend over the final two months of the year, prices would average around 770¢/kg carcase weight. However, in the short-term prices could be pushed lower, as the Victorian lamb supply is anticipated to increase from current levels.