MLA introduces new sheep, lamb and cattle indicators for COVID-19

Sheep Central, April 7, 2020

NEW national sheep, lamb and prime cattle indicators have been introduced by Meat & Livestock Australia to temporarily replace its usual indicators that have suspended at least until 27 April 2020.

On 27 March, MLA temporarily suspended its livestock market indicators as part of measures put in place through the National Livestock Reporting Service under COVID-19 constraints.

The suspended indicators included the Eastern States Daily Indicators for lamb and mutton, the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator, the Western Young Cattle Indicator, the WA weekly indicators and the comprehensive indicators.

There have also been changes to MLA’s market reporting as part of MLA’s COVID-19 containment efforts.

These changes include:

market reports arriving slightly later than usual

within reports, the unavailability of visually-assessed animal characteristics including;

fat and muscle scores

dressing percentages

estimated carcase weights

skin values

existing cattle and sheep indicators being suspended

the creation of a selection of comparable (but distinct in specification) indicators portraying saleyard-driven price trends and movements across both the nation and individual states.

Three new unique lamb and sheep indicators

Until further notice, MLA will now produce three unique national sheep market price indicators (CV19): processor lamb, restocker lamb and mutton.

All the new indicators will use average state-level monthly estimates of carcase prices calculated from the past five years. These changes will remain in place until 27 April 2020, or until otherwise advised.

MLA is still producing modified detailed physical sheep, lamb and prime cattle saleyard market reports for sales where a livestock market officer cannot visually assess the animal, but the following details will be temporarily unavailable: fat score, estimated CWT price and skin values.

New unique cattle indicators

The new national cattle market price indicators (CV19) are modified versions of the following indicators: feeder steer, medium cow, medium steer, heavy steer, vealer steer and yearling steer.

MLA will continue to produce modified store cattle saleyard market reports for sales where the livestock market officer cannot visually assess the animal, but muscle and fate score assessments will be temporarily unavailable.

Meat & Livestock Australia has said it is taking considered action to support global containment efforts of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and to safeguard the health and well-being of its people, their families, stakeholders, visitors and contractors. This action included MLA closing all its offices (except China) from 5pm Wednesday 25 March until Monday 27 April, or until otherwise advised.

This means all MLA employees (except those in our China office) – including livestock market officers — who collect livestock data across Australia’s saleyards — are no longer attending saleyards  andwill work remotely from home during this time.

For more information about MLA’s new indicators and market reporting services click here.


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