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Abattoir backlog creating problems for producers

Sheep prices remain limited, with buyers booked out weeks in advance, and it will take some time to work through the backlog.

Despite COVID-19 close contact rules easing recently, workplaces are still struggling for staff, and that’s a story which runs across the whole agricultural sector at the moment, with visa issues for foreign workers part of the problem.

On the east coast, new season forward lamb prices start about 880¢ in August and slide down to 800¢ towards the end of September.

In wool markets the Eastern Market Indicator rose 12¢ to the week ending May 4 as the Australian dollar retreated.

The AUD has since risen again so whether the gain lasts will be apparent in next week’s markets.

WA cattle yardings were up week on week and prices were firm.

Direct cattle prices were unchanged.

Nationally, the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator is at 1108¢ a kilogram, up 21¢ week on week.

Most export buyers were active this week which is part of the reason behind the strength.

Australia livestock markets are watching the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Indonesia closely, and while reiterating our market participants should not panic, there is work to be done to ensure our traceability is up to scratch to prevent outbreaks reaching Australia.

Processor and feedlot market bids at the start of the week (¢/kg or $/head):

  • WA market indices: Heavy weaner steers 608¢, weaner heifers 573¢. Medium to lightweight steers 738¢ and heifers 652¢.
  • East coast processor prices: MSA: steers 785¢, heifers 780¢. Cows 730¢. Jap Ox: steers 760¢, Bulls 580¢.
  • Queensland feedlots: Black Angus: 635¢, Black Angus British X: 615¢, Wagyu X Angus: POA.
  • NSW feedlots (steers): Feeder steers: 0-2T 520¢, Feeder heifers: 0-2T 430¢, Bulls 600¢.

To contact buyers and for more price information please login to the Agora Livestock Markets app or online at www.agoralivestock.com.au.

Rob Kelly is the founder and managing director of Agora Livestock, a free service with the latest sheep, cattle and goat price grids in one easy-to-use app.

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