Lamb prices on the rise
MEAT and Livestock Australia reports over-the-hook lamb prices rose again this week in New South Wales across most weights and grades. Trade weight (18-22kg cwt) lambs increased 6c, ranging 440-453c, to average 470c, while heavy weight (24-26kg cwt) lambs averaged 443c, up 6c/kg cwt week-on-week. Extra heavy weight (26kg+ cwt) lambs ranged 410-450c to be 6c dearer and finished on 439c/kg cwt.
Mutton rates in NSW improved slightly this week, with medium weights (18-24kg cwt) lifting 5c, ranging 180-210c/kg, averaging 198c; and heavy weights (24+kg cwt) increasing 4c to average 206c/kg cwt.
OTH lamb rates in Victoria were substantially dearer on last week, with the majority of contributors reporting a stronger market trend.
Trade weight lambs lifted 19c to average 460c, while heavy weights were up 23c and ranged 420-470c, averaging 458c/kg cwt. Extra heavy weight lambs increased 22c and averaged 442c/kg cwt.
US livestock numbers fall
OFFICIAL estimates of livestock numbers released by the US Department of Agriculture show the national cattle herd, sheep and goat flocks all declined by 2% during 2013.
According to Meat and Livestock Australia, the US cattle herd fell to 87.7 million head as at January 1, 2014 - down from 89.3m head the year before.
The sheep flock was 5.21m head - down from 5.34m head, while the goat flock was 2.76m head - down from 2.81m head.
The cattle inventory as at January 1, 2014 was 87.7m head, the lowest since 1951.