Domestic Lamb

AuctionsPlus 100,000-plus sheep and lambs record

Sheep Central, February 23, 2015
These 11.2kg cwt Merino wether lambs at Yass sold for $79 on AuctionsPlus last week.

These 11.2kg cwt Merino wether lambs at Yass sold for $79 on AuctionsPlus last week.

AuctionsPlus offered more than 100,000 sheep and lambs last week, its largest offering in 27 years of selling livestock online.

The real-time internet auction company offered 100,297 sheep and lambs, including 23,000 in the breeder and replacement ewe sale last Tuesday.

AuctionsPlus market operations officer Anna Adams said quality young breeders were the stand-out article for the week, especially ewes scanned in lamb.

Store lamb price correction

Merino wether lambs were also offered in larger numbers and enjoyed a resurgence in price, but store lamb prices were variable on last week, with the lighter end steady but heavier lambs back around $5, she said.

“There has been a little bit of a correction in the store lamb market and so people are setting reserves where the market has been.

“But after the sale there have been a lot of sales negotiated.”

Ms Adams said the 29-31kg liveweight store lambs sold from $80-$85, the 32-33kg lwt lines made $72.50-$95, and the 34-36kg drafts sold from $89.50-$98. The 37-38kg lwt mixed sex lines made $84-$105, some 40-41kg lwt Coolalee cross lambs sold for $80-$81, and the top price was $106 for 42kg White Suffolk/Merino lambs at Euroa.

“There wasn’t a whole lot of lambs that made over the $100 mark, but there wasn’t the weight in a few lines that we had the previous week either.”

Upturn in replacement ewe prices

Ms Adams said there was an upturn in breeder ewe prices across all the sales.

“Unjoined Merino hoggets sold from $55-$157 and young ewes joined to terminal sires made $150 to a top of $168 for rising two year old Gum Hill blood ewes in lamb to the Suffolk.”

Ms Adams said unjoined aged Merino ewes made $42-$136 to average $82 and the scanned portion made $95-$146. First cross Border Leicester-Merino ewe lambs were plentiful this week and sold from $101.50-$161 with an average of $132, Ms Adams said.

A line of 18-month-old first cross ewes in lamb to Poll Dorset rams in southern NSW made the top price of the week of $240 and other joined first cross ewes sold from $81-$188.50, she said.

Merino wether lambs sold from $55-$95.50 to average $72. The top price was for May/June drop lambs shorn in September weighing 47kg lwt.

NLRS indicators mostly firm

After Friday’s saleyard sales, the National Livestock Reporting Service reported its daily lamb and mutton indicators as mostly firm, but all indicators except restocker lambs declined over the week.

On Friday, the NLRS Eastern States Daily Indicator’ daily and weekly changes were: restocker lambs, 558c/kg cwt, down 1 cent, up 4 cents for the week; Merino lambs, 457c/kg, down 1c, down 33c; light lambs, 499c/kg, up 1c; down 29c; trade lambs, 530c/kg, up 1c, down 9c; heavy lambs, 530c/kg, no change, down 14c ; mutton, 349c/kg, down 1c, down 2c.

After Friday’s saleyard sales, the national trade lamb indicator was up two cents on 533c/kg and the heavy lamb indice was unchanged. The national mutton indicator was down one cent to 349c/kg.

Griffith sheep and lamb prices steady

In NSW at the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 5750 lambs, 4150 fewer than last week, and 1400 sheep, 900 fewer.

The NLRS said lamb quality continued to be mixed, with well-finished and plainer pens yarded. Heavy and extra heavy lambs made up the majority of the offering. Most of the usual buyers competed in a fairly steady market.

Light lambs held firm, selling from $94-$98. Trade weights also held steady with prices ranging from $100-$123. Heavy lambs eased slightly to make from $128-$135. Extra heavies were firm to $3 dearer with prices ranging from $136-$180. Carcase prices averaged from 512c/kg-565c/kg.

The sheep were mostly Merinos and quality was very mixed. Prices remained fairly similar with Merino ewes selling from $80-$117. Crossbred ewes ranged in price from $86-$114 and Dorper ewes sold from $76-$110.

Corowa lambs dearer

At the Corowa saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 4800 lambs, 2139 more than last week, and 1350 sheep, 118 fewer.

The NLRS said lamb quality was very good among the well-finished extra heavy lambs. Mainly heavy weight lambs were penned, with trade and light lambs in limited supply. A few store lambs were offered and all the buyers were present except for one. Competition improved compared to the previous week resulting in a dearer market.

Light lambs held firm and averaged $78 and store lambs averaged $70.40. Medium and heavy trade weight lambs were $2-$4 dearer and averaged 527c/kg cwt. Most of the heavy trade weights sold from $117-$124. Heavy weight lambs were $3-$6 dearer and ranged from 511c/k-550c/kg cwt. A few pens of extra heavy lambs sold from $175-$186.

Mutton quality was mixed. Medium Merino ewes were firm and averaged $82 or 342c/kg cwt. Heavy first cross ewes averaged $97.30 or 324c/kg cwt.

Best Shepparton trade lambs up $3-$7

In Victoria at the Shepparton saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 1800 lambs, 600 more than last week, and 900 sheep, 200 more.

The NLRS said quality remained very mixed. More buyers attended and prices for the better quality pens of trade lambs improved $3-$7.

The market reached a top of $163 for a pen of export lambs estimated to have a carcase weight of about 28kg. It was one of just a few sales of heavy lambs over $150. The strongest demand from meat buyers on the day was for heavy trade lambs which sold from $128-$141, putting the best quality pens at around 540c/kg-560c/kg cwt.

There wasn’t much price change on the plainer quality and lighter domestic lambs which generally sold from $90-$112. Some of the plainest and smallest lambs were cheaper at $25-$50, due to less restocker support.

Agents also offered some feature lines of young joined crossbred ewes, most 3-4-years, which sold to limited restocker interest. Two pens sold at $156 and $150, with the balance passed in.

The mutton market was firm to slightly dearer in places, with heavy crossbred ewes selling from $100-$115, while medium and light weight slaughter ewes ranged from $40-$84. Estimated carcase prices for sheep did show a lot of variance due to the limited and mixed quality yarding.

Sources: AuctionsPlus, NLRS.

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