A tightening in lamb numbers heading into winter contributed to a substantial decline in numbers offered on AuctionsPlus last week.
LAMB production and seasonal dynamics are pointing to a big summer turn-off of heavy lambs in central and northern Victoria, and in New South Wales, possibly after the spring-early summer flush of lambs from southern Victoria and south-east South Australia.
SHEEP producers trying to sell stock with old National Vendor Declarations in Western Australia this week have been hit by discounts of up to $20 on mutton and $15 at the Muchea saleyards.
LAMB and sheep prices firmed in saleyards on Friday, with yardings generally lower in the few New South Wales and Victorian centres selling.
TRADE and heavy lamb prices generally firmed in saleyards mid-week as supply tightened, despite many drafts having seasonal quality issues.
TRADE, heavy and restocker lamb prices dipped late last week as more new season lambs were offered, but prices for 16.1-18 kg suckers continued to strengthen.
A GOOD quality yarding of new season lambs sold at around current rates at Murray Bridge in South Australia yesterday. Elders and Landmark yarded about 5500 new season lambs.
ROLLING forward pricing for new season lambs leading into summer this year were released for the first time by South Australian-based meat processor Thomas Foods International last week in an attempt to secure up to half the kill of three plants.
BUYERS pulled trade and especially heavy lamb saleyard prices back further mid-week as increasing numbers of new season lambs and more plainer old lambs were yarded. Rates for old trade and heavy lambs have fallen generally 30-40c/kg cwt this week, with only the better lines of new season lambs making 600c/kg-plus at Carcoar and Wagga in New South Wales.
TRADE and heavy lamb saleyard prices finished last week relatively firm around 600c/kg and mutton rates were also unchanged. Small numbers of new season lambs continue to come into NSW saleyards, but in numbers insufficient to greatly affect old lamb rates.