HEAVY lamb prices pushed more strongly above $10 a kilogram at the Wagga Livestock Marketing Centre yesterday as buyers competed for dwindling quality supplies.
A line of 87 first cross wether lambs estimated at 35-36kg cwt sold through Riverina Livestock Agents for $358.20 for Junee client Noel Leahy to Fletcher International Exports.
“It (the price) would be right up there with the best ever in Wagga,” Riverina Livestock Agents director Tim Drum said.
New season lambs made to $315.20 for 91 Poll Dorset cross lambs estimated at 31-32kg cwt from Ray and Libby Webb at Yerong Creek and sold through Nutrien. Another 111 lambs made $292, meaning the total draft of 202 30kg lambs averaged about $303. Their skins were valued at $10.
“There was a lot of lambs that made over $10/kg,” Nutrien Wagga livestock manager Peter Cabot said.
“It was just supply — there are not enough heavy lambs about and the suckers aren’t heavy enough yet.
“On a cents/kg basis, the sale was as dear as I’ve seen, ever.”
Wagga Wagga Selling Agents Association president Mark Logan from RH Blake & Co said the market was very dear for a yarding of about 15,000 Merino lambs, 8000 new season suckers and only 15,000 crossbreds.
“So a lot of the weight has gone, we’re getting to the end of our old lambs, so it was $10-$20 dearer and some lambs a lot more.
“The secondary lambs were easily $20 dearer and the suckers were probably $10 dearer as well,” he said.
“The old lambs are finishing, the Merino lambs are peaking and the suckers are just creeping up.”
The best crossbred lambs over 20kg cwt made up $10/kg, and these cwt prices extended into heavier weights as well. Mr Logan said some Merino lambs made more than $9/kg, with . The National Livestock Reporting Service quoted the best crossbred skins at up to $10 and some Merino skins at $15-$20.
Mr Logan said other NSW yards are offering fewer lambs and numbers are also down in major Victorian yards.
Wagga new season lambs lift
In New South Wales at the Wagga saleyards yesterday, the agents yarded 39,500 lambs, 7300 fewer than last week, and 8500 sheep, 600 fewer.
The National Livestock Reporting Service said the big winter yarding had a full field of buyers. A large portion of the yarding were grain-assisted heavy and extra heavy lambs.
Trade lambs were well-supplied; however, some were of plainer quality requiring more finish. Included in the lamb total were 8150 new season lambs and quality was outstanding.
New season lambs ignited the bidding pushing prices $5-$15 higher. New season lambs weighing 21-24kg sold from $186-$258, to average 996c/kg. The highlight of the young lamb section was a pen estimated to weigh 32kg that made $315.20.
There was an excellent selection of well-bred young lambs suitable for restockers that sold from $132-$181.
Old trade lambs sold to stronger trends, driven by a tightening in supply. Lambs weighing 22-24kg gained $14 and averaged 1008c/kg. More export buyers attended along with some major domestic processor competition.
Heavy 24-26kg lambs sold $13 dearer to average 988c/kg. Lambs weighing 26-30kg sold to very strong competition with buyers upping the ante as the sale progressed to average 970c/kg.
Extra heavy lambs estimated to weigh more than 30kg were well-supplied and all buyers were keen for a market share. Prices jumped $13 with most selling from $294-$358.
The mixed quality yarding of mutton included some excellent extra heavy sheep. Not all buyers attended or operated across heavy or trade categories. Heavy ewes ignited the bidding, making from $170-$298, to average 672c/kg. Heavy Merino wethers sold from $240-$260, to range from 706-740c/kg. The trade sheep were mostly shorn, with very few in longer fleeces and most sold from $145-$170.
Carcoar’s extra heavy lambs $10 dearer
In New South Wales at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange at Carcoar on Wednesday, the agents yarded 5200 lambs, 760 fewer, and 1460 sheep, 290 fewer.
The NLRS said it was a mostly plainer quality yarding, except for a few pens of well-finished heavy weight lambs and 1900 new season lambs in fresh condition.
Most of the old lambs were showing the effects of the cold weather. Three trade buyers were absent from the smaller field of buyers. Trade weight old lambs were $10-$14 cheaper, with quality a factor. The trade weight old lambs sold from $140-$225, to range from 830-860c/kg. Trade weight new season lambs were close to firm at $160-$220, or around 945c/kg.
Heavy weight lambs up to 26kg were $6 cheaper, and the extra heavier weights sold $10 dearer. Lambs over 24kg sold from $212-$314, or between 900-970c/kg. Lambs sold to restockers were firm, with new season lambs going back to the paddock making $139-$178. Restockers bought old lambs for $119-$155. Hoggets sold to $208.
It was a fair to good quality yarding of mutton and most grades were around firm. Merino ewes sold from $100-$200 and crossbred ewes from $145-$240. Merino wethers made $90-$191. Restockers paid $121 and $145 for crossbred ewes in plain condition and $190 for a consignment of woolly Merino ewes.
Horsham’s quality trade lambs slightly dearer
In Victoria at the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 2000 lambs, 250 fewer, and 1500 sheep, 1150 fewer.
The NLRS said lamb quality was mixed with mostly smaller clean up lots yarded. Most regular buyers attended and operated in a similar market to last week, with a few pens of nice quality shorn trade weight lambs selling a few dollars dearer.
Medium and heavy trade weight lambs sold from $216-$232 and heavier weights made to $260. Merino lambs sold from $144-$210 to be a few dollars dearer. Restockers and feeders paid from $86-$157 for lambs and Light weight lambs sold from $120-$157, to average 800c/kg.
Light trade weight lambs sold from $159-$206 to average 900c/kg. Medium trade weight lambs sold from $216-$232 and ranged from 870-960c to average 900c/kg . Heavy trade weight lambs sold from $220-$221, with the few pens of heavy lambs making $260. Lighter weight Merino lambs sold from $140-$173 and medium weights made $160-$196. The heavier Merino lambs sold to $210 to average 780-820c/kg.
The smaller sheep offering covered all weights and was made up of Merino and crossbred ewes. Quality was mixed, and with limited competition from the regular buyers they sold to similar levels to last week. Merino ewes sold to $188 and the crossbred ewes made to $194. Restockers paid from $98-$134 for Merino ewes.
Merino hoggets sold to $186 and crossbred hoggets to $166. Light weight sheep sold from $120-$126 and averaged 675c/kg. Medium weight sheep sold from $106-$190, with the Merinos averaging 630c/kg. Heavy Merino ewes sold from $163-$188 to average 640c/kg. Heavy crossbred ewes made $133-$194. Rams sold from $10-$141.
Hamilton lambs $20-$25 cheaper
In Victoria at the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 2997 lambs, 442 fewer, and 1702 sheep, 196 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was plain to good. Most regular buyers attended, but some were not fully active. There was very limited restocking competition, with restockers paying-$151.
The market was very soft over all categories with most lambs to the trade selling $20-$25 cheaper. Light 12-18kg lambs made $78-$156, or 547-748c/kg, and light trade weight 18-22kg lambs sold from $111-$169, or 576-715c/kg. The medium 22-26kg trade weight lambs made $136-$248, or 734- 862c/kg. Heavy trade weight lambs 26kg over made to $250, or around 713c/kg. The score 3 hoggets sold to $192.
Sheep prices were also back by $20-$30, except for wethers that held firm. Heavier crossbred sheep made to $250, and the better well-covered Merino ewes sold from $132-$171. Wethers sold from $160-$230 and the general run of Merino mutton ranged from 630-690c/kg. Terminal sires sold to $85 and Merino rams made to $114.
Cowra trade lambs slightly dearer
In NSW at the Cowra saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 4520 lambs, 300 more, and 1300 sheep, 1000 more.
The NLRS said quality was very good in the 3000 new season lambs offered, and the extra heavy old grades showed top condition. Most of the yarding was trade and heavy weight lambs, with a small supply of store lambs.
All the usual buyers operated, along with a couple of extras, and competition was good. This resulted in a firm market for the new season lambs and saw much dearer prices for the extra heavy weight lambs.
Light new season lambs sold to restockers for $154-$176. Medium and heavy trade new season lambs were firm to $1 dearer and made 930-950c/kg. The heavy 23-24kg trade weights sold from $218-$230.
Heavy weight new season lambs sold from $230-$260. Trade weight old lambs were $7 dearer at $214-$233. Heavy weight lambs were $10 dearer and more in places, making 900-960c/kg. The heavy weight lambs sold from $240-$247 and extra heavy weights made to $260-$325.
The sheep were mainly first cross ewes and they lifted $5. Heavy first cross ewes sold from $163-$202 or 630c/kg.
Yass trade lambs $7-$10 cheaper
In NSW at the South East Livestock Exchange at Yass, the agents yarded 8000 lambs, 574 more, and 1700 sheep, 150 fewer.
The NLRS said lamb quality was fair to good. Only a few new season lambs were penned and most of the lambs were older heavy weights. Trade and extra heavy lambs were in reasonable numbers and Merino lambs were back in numbers and quality.
The market sold to a cheaper trend. New season trade lambs sold from $186-$215 and heavy weights reached $258. Restockers paid from $111-$204 for the better end of the lambs. Old 2 score processing lambs made $126-$166 with a little more restocking activity.
Trade lambs to 24kg were $6-$10 cheaper at $185-$215, and the 24-26kg lambs dropped $7 to $206-$249. Heavy 26-30kg lambs remained firm, with larger runs of short-skinned lambs making $213-$266, or 880c/kg. Extra heavy weights made to $340. Merino trade weights sold firm from $156-$178 and heavy lambs reached $250.
Mutton quality was good. Medium and heavy sheep were well-supplied and prices were firm for the light and medium weights and $6 cheaper on the heavy mutton. Medium weight ewes sold from $112-$162 and heavy crossbred ewes made $180-$248. Merino ewes reached $214.
Katanning’s best heavy lambs lift
In Western Australia at the Katanning saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 4800 lambs, 187 more, and 3929 sheep, 229 more.
The NLRS said lamb prices fluctuated on quality, finishing easier for the plainer lambs with less demand and gaining on quality and heavier weight pens. The best heavy lambs sold to $230, trending up on last week.
All the regular processor buyers attended, but not all operated and a large gallery of feeder and restocker buyers chased quality store weights.
Light weight lambs under 16kg sold from $75-$130, and heavier under 18kg lambs made $109-$147. Lighter trade weight lambs sold for $124-$141 and the heavier trade weights made from $148-$173. Heavy weight lambs made $168-$196. Extra heavy weight lambs made to $230.
It was another good quality yarding of mutton with prices mainly equal. Young Merino ewes sold from $70-$232, depending on weight. Light store ewes sold from $90-$101 and heavier stores with a full fleece made to $167. Medium weight prime ewes under 30kg sold from $150-$238. The heavy weight ewes over 30kg sold from $200-$270. A large yarding of heavy wethers made to $210.
Young light hogget wethers sold from $120-$130 and heavier lines sold to processors for $230-$240. Mature rams made $60-$180, depending on weight, and ram lambs sold from $60 up to $214 for heavy weights.
Source: MLA NLRS.