SHEEP and lamb numbers lifted on AuctionsPlus last week as saleyard prices were firm to dearer for quality lamb drafts.
Store lambs sold to $109.50 or about 600c/kg online and first cross ewe lambs made to $159 for a draft just under joinable weight.
AuctionsPlus market operations officer Anna Adams said there was plenty of buyer interest and prices were on an upward trend as sheep and lamb numbers bounced back to 59,026 head across five sales.
Breeder numbers jumped with Merino ewes selling well, she said. Maiden Merino ewes sold from $95-$142 to average $122. Proven breeders made from $89, up to $135 for 185 three-year-old Belbourie and Stockman blood ewes, mid-February shorn and mostly score 1 and 2, at Stawell, in Victoria.
Aged unjoined ewes sold from $60 to $91.50, with Barrama blood 5.5 year-olds making the top price. First cross future breeders sold from $110 to a top of $159 for July/August drop lambs at Coonamble.
Merino wethers sold strongly with lambs making $38-$82 to average $57, and hoggets averaged $75 ranging from $58 to a top of $90 for September shorn, 42kg lwt Greendale blood wethers in southern NSW.
Store lamb numbers offered online were well up on last week with the inclusion of one targeted lamb sale, Ms Adams said. The 26-27kg cwt lambs made $78-$85.50, 29-31kg lambs sold from $70-$85, and 33-34kg lines ranged from $83-$97.50. The 35-37kg lambs sold from $84-$100.50, 38-40kg lambs made $91.50-$99.50 and the heavier end at 41-42kg sold from $103.50-$109.50. The top price was for shorn, 7-8 month-old Poll Dorset cross lambs, 17.7kg cwt, at Breadalbane in southern NSW.
NLRS reports year-on-year lift in saleyard offering
The National Livestock Reporting Service said eastern states saleyard lamb offerings in the first full week of sales were 33 percent higher than the same time last year, totalling 181,174 head. The big driver was hot weather across the country, particularly in NSW and Victoria. The dry conditions in Victoria are reflected in the quality of lambs offered, with a greater proportion of unfinished trade weights reportedly turned off earlier than usual. Prices for the better quality lambs yarded were firm to dearer, but any lines that remained unfinished sold at a discount, the NLRS said.
Over-the-hook indicators started the week steady with pre-Christmas levels. However, as the week progressed, quotes eased across the eastern states.
NLRS indicators relatively stable on Friday
After Friday’s saleyard sales, the Eastern States Daily indicators for lamb categories changed little. The ESDIs for lambs were: restocker 535c/kg, down 1 cent; Merino 463c/kg, down 1c; light 479c/kg, no change; trade 516c/kg, down 1c; heavy 57c/kg, down 1c. The national lamb indicator lost 1 cent to 516c/kg, and the heavy indice also closed 1 cent lower, to 527c/kg.
The ESDI and national indicator for mutton both finioshed the week on 308c/kg.
Strong competition on heavy lambs at Cowra
In New South Wales at the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the agent yarded 8400 lambs, 2700 fewer than last week, and 2500 sheep, 450 more.
The NLRS said quality remained very good on the runs of trade and heavy lambs. Heavy trades were limited and there was an excellent run of extra heavy lambs. Store lambs were in reasonably good numbers. All the usual buyers operated in a firm to slightly cheaper market, despite the strong competition on the heavy trade and heavy lambs.
Restocking lambs ranged from $79-$99. The medium and heavy trade weights sold from $102-$134, or around 545-560c/kg cwt. Heavy lambs were $2 stronger at $130-$157, to average 535c/kg. Extra heavy weights topped at $182, averaging 495c/kg.
Mutton quality was mixed. Prices eased $7-$11. Medium weight ewes sold from $53-$80. Heavy crossbreds sold from $75-$95. Merino wethers made to $82, with most at around 260-280c/kg cwt.
Griffith trade lambs firm to $3 up
At the Griffith saleyards on Friday the agents yarded 6050 lambs, 1150 fewer than last week, and 1600 sheep, 900 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was fair with good numbers of finished lambs offered along with the plainer types. There was a better range of all weights available and most of the usual buyers competed in a fairly steady market.
Light lambs sold from $90-$103. Trade weights were firm to $3 better with an improved offering. Prices ranged from $104-$132. Heavy and extra heavyweight lambs held firm, with heavyweights selling from $128-$148 and extra heavies making $147-$180. Carcase prices averaged from 487-532c/kg.
Most of the sheep were mixed quality Merinos. Merino ewes sold from $75-$96. Crossbreds made $80-$114.
Sources; AuctionsPlus, MLA, NLRS.