Saleyard and over-the-hook mutton prices have outperformed outperformed 2013 rates and the five-year average since March, MLA reported this week.
From the beginning of the year through to the first half of November, saleyard mutton prices have averaged over 100¢/kg cwt above 2013 prices and this margin was at its greatest in April when it reached nearly 200¢/kg.
For the first two weeks of November, saleyard mutton prices averaged 306¢/kg cwt, 13 percent above the five-year average and 52pc above year ago levels, MLA said. Over-the-hooks prices have followed a similar trend, averaging 263¢/kg cwt for the first half of November, 5pc above the five-year average and 29pc above November 2013.
MLS said the prices have been supported by strong mutton and live sheep exports. In October, Australia exported 18,415 tonnes of mutton, 55pc above the five year average, of which 27pc went to China and 25pc went to the Middle East. Year-to-October exports were 147,467 tonnes, 57pc above the five-year average.
Live exports increase 12pc
MLA said year-to-September live sheep exports were 1,704,465 head, primarily to the Middle East. While this is 800,000 head below what was shipped five years ago, it is a 12pc increase on year ago levels.
Australia’s live sheep exports are below the five-year average, but domestic processing has more than made up for the short fall, with national slaughter so far this year averaging more than 200,000 head each month above the five-year average.