AuctionsPlus rounded off a record monthly throughput of 255,000 sheep and lambs last week, as saleyard prices held firm across the eastern states.
At the close of Friday’s saleyard sales, the National Livestock Reporting Service quoted all the lamb and mutton daily indicators within a few cents of the previous day’s mark. But all lamb and mutton indicators recorded significant weekly rises.
On Friday, the Eastern States Daily Indicators for lambs were: restocker 571c/kg, down 1 cent, up 13 cents for the week; Merino 493c/kg, up 2 cents, up 37cents; light 531c/kg, up 1 cent, up 32 cents; trade 537c/kg, down 1 cents, up 7 cents; heavy 543c/kg, up 1 cent, up 13 cents. The national trade lamb indicator was down 1 cent to 537c/kg and the heavy lamb indice was up 1 cents to 542c/kg.
The ESDI for mutton closed at 363c/kg, down one cent for the day and up 14 cents for the week, while the national indice was up 1 cent to 362c/kg.
Record monthly AuctionsPlus sheep and lamb throughput
AuctionsPlus market operations officer Anna Adams said sheep and lamb numbers dropped 25,000 head this week to 74,885.
However, this did not stop the online auction service from cataloguing a record monthly offering of 255,000 sheep and lambs, plus 37,000 cattle, she said.
“Breeding stock of all descriptions continued to meet with keen interest.
“Scanned and joined Merino and first cross ewes available in southern NSW, Vic and SA, were in demand from buyers aiming to restock numbers and build up their flocks,” Ms Adams said.
Merino ewe hoggets averaged $110 and made from $50 to up to $151 for a line of
55kg liveweight unjoined Cottage Park and Demondrille blood ewes from Cooma, NSW.
Prices for young and aged joined Merino ewes also rose this week, making from $51-$155 with an average of $111. Ms Adams said a highlight was the number of lines from Wagga Wagga NSW that were scanned in lamb to Border Leicesters, and had a 2’’ skin.
“Merino wether lambs also drew buyer interest with a range of $35-$92.50 and an average of $63, with the majority of these lots having a 1.5’’ or longer skins,” Ms Adams said.
Grown Merino wethers averaged $95 with a range of $90-$101.
Joined first cross ewes in demand
There was also demand for Border Leicester/Merino ewes on AuctionsPlus last week. Ewe lambs averaged $110, and made up to $200 for a small line of 6-7 month 49kg lwt lambs from Dubbo, NSW. A line of 18-month-old 72kg lwt first cross ewe hoggets joined to Poll Dorsets from Wagga Wagga sold for $200.
Store lambs weighing 30-33kg lwt made from $60-$89, the 34-35kg lwt lines sold for $85-$88 and the 36-38kg lwt lines ranged from $82 to a top of $108 for second cross White Suffolk lambs weighing 38kg lwt from Kingscote in SA. The heaviest store lambs at 39-40kg lwt made $81-$105.
Griffith lambs firm to slightly dearer
In NSW at the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 14,100 lambs, 8950 more than last week, and 1600 sheep, 200 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality continued to be fair, with good numbers of well-finished lines, along with the plainer types. Most of the offering was heavy and extra heavy weight lambs. The usual buyers competed in a firm to slightly dearer market.
Light lambs lifted $4, selling from $92-$106. Trade weights were firm to $2 easier, with prices ranging from $105-$126. Heavy and extra heavy weight lambs were firm to $4 better. Heavy lambs ranged in prices from $129-$146. Extra heavy weights made $141-$190. Carcase prices averaged from 527c/kg-578c/kg cwt.
The sheep were mostly mixed quality Merinos. Prices remained strong with Merino ewes selling from $88-$116. Dorper ewes sold from $87-$116. Merino wethers made $87-$108.
Cowra lambs slightly cheaper
At the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 7050 lambs, 2250 more than last week, and 1350 sheep.
The NLRS said lamb quality improved, with a good run of heavy lambs in top condition. Most were heavy weights, with fewer trade lambs. There were more stores suitable for the restockers, but not all buyers were present. Demand fluctuated, resulting in a slightly cheaper market.
Light lambs averaged $96, while store lambs made $73-$96. Medium and heavy trade weights were firm to $5 cheaper and averaged around 519c/kg cwt. Most of the heavy trade weight lambs sold from $110-$122. Heavy weight lambs were firm to $6 cheaper and averaged from 514c/kg-534c/kg cwt. A run of extra heavy weight lambs sold from $160-$176.
Mutton quality was good with some good heavy sheep penned. Medium merino ewes were $4 dearer and averaged $86, or 339c/kg cwt. Heavy first cross ewes were up to $8 dearer and averaged $105, or 323c/kg cwt.
Shepparton lamb market dearer, but patchy
In Victoria on Friday at the Shepparton saleyards, the agents yarded 1366 lambs, 434 fewer than last week, and 602 sheep, 298 less.
The NLRS said there wasn’t many export weight lambs and only limited pens of good domestic types available to buyers. The market showed a dearer trend but it was patchy and mainly only odd pens in each agent’s run recorded a much dearer result compared to the previous week.
The market reached a top of $152 for lambs estimated to have a carcase weight of about 26kg. There was more local restocker interest this week which helped support light weight lambs. Most sold from $70-$90 and very small lambs made $40-$60. The general run of domestic slaughter lambs, 18-22kg cwt, sold from $98-$119 and the better finished types made an estimated 540c/kg-560c/kg cwt, with odd pens higher. The limited offering of heavier lambs sold from $140-$152, averaging around 530c/kg cwt, but again with select pens higher at times.
The sheep were mainly smaller and mixed pen lots of ewes. Extra heavy crossbred ewes sold from $90-$120, while a small offering of Merino wethers sold to $95. The general run of trade and light weight slaughter ewes made from $40-$76.
Sources: AuctionsPlus, NLRS.