WA saleyard sheep and lamb indicators eased this week, with only subdued competition from buyers, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.
Lamb supply at saleyards covered by MLA's National Livestock Reporting Service declined by 5 per cent on last week, but sheep numbers more than doubled.
MLA says that with some processors reducing slaughter days due to supply constraints and also the recent record lamb prices, competition for lambs was reduced and contributed to the cheaper trend.
The limited offering of quality lambs and new season lambs, however, received good competition.
The WA trade lamb indicator finished Thursday at 539¢/kg (carcase weight), some 51¢/kg below last week, but 159¢/kg above the same time last year.
Similarly, the average heavy lamb price fell 92¢/kg below last week, but remained 150¢ above last year to finish the week at 508¢/kg.
Saleyard sheep prices also averaged lower this week, as more sheep were offloaded to accommodate weaned lambs on farm, leading to sheep numbers increasing more than two-fold on last week.
The higher supply was met with softer demand again this week, as the absence of live export buyers and fewer processors (due to annual maintenance closures) reduced competition and hence prices.
Due to both the higher yardings and weaker competition, the WA mutton indicator declined 11¢/kg on last week, but remained 83¢/kg above the same time last year, to average 234¢/kg.