Buyers bid up for quality trade and heavy lambs

Sheep Central, January 20, 2021

The TB White and Sons team launches into 2021 lamb sales yesterday.

PRICES lifted for quality trade and heavy lambs, and restocker competition remained strong, in most major saleyard markets earlier this week.

However, rates for sheep were less positive, as not all mutton processors operated fully on these at saleyards.

Trade lamb prices lifted by up to $20 at Bendigo, and by $10-$13 Dubbo and at Dublin in South Australia, where heavy lamb prices also improved, by up to $15. At the South Australian Livestock Exchange at Dublin, Meat & Livestock Australia’s National Livestock Reporting Service said a few extreme heavy weight lambs posted a $15-$30 rise to make $204-$260.

After Tuesday’s saleyard sales, Meat & Livestock Australia’s Eastern States Daily Indicators showed light lamb prices suffering the most, with the indicator down 20c/kg to 833c/kg cwt. The Merino lamb indicator rose 3 cents to 734c/kg and the heavy lamb indicator held up one cent on 817c/kg. All other lamb indicators fell; restockers down 8 cents to 953c/kg and trades down 5 cents to 823c/kg.

Bendigo’s good trade lambs lift $15-$20

In Victoria at the Bendigo saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 20,000 lambs, 7000 fewer than last week, and 7000 sheep, 600 more.

MLA’s NLRS said heavy shorn lambs again dominated the yarding and nicely finished trade lambs remained scarce.

The market fluctuated throughout the sale, with some pens lifting $15-$20 dearer than last week. The overall result was a dearer trend for the best lambs in the 24-30kg range, while most others averaged close to last week.

Store lamb competition was boosted by a volume order from a Shepparton agency and small lambs for restockers were often dearer.

The heaviest shorn lambs over 30kg sold from $235-$277 for an average of $260. The lead pens of heavy lambs in the 26-30kg category sold from $225-$254, or 830-840c/kg cwt. The pick of the 24-26kg lambs suiting top domestic orders sold from $205-$224 to average close to 850c/kg.

Price fluctuations were recorded over the general run of trade lambs that sold from $170-$210 depending on quality, fat cover and size.

Lighter lambs to the paddock and processors made mostly from $130-$165.

Mutton demand was at lower levels and not all companies operating fully. Price falls of $10-$20 were common across a range of mutton, with some categories losing more value. Only exceptionally heavy crossbred ewes sold for more than $200 to a top of $220, with most making $170-$190.

Heavy Merino ewes with a high value skin sold to $220. A lot of trade and heavy sheep made $130-$170, or 520-580c/kg. Any quality Merino wethers were better supported and trended above 600c/kg.

Dubbo trade lambs up $10-$13

In New South Wales at the Dubbo saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 5450 lambs, 5990 fewer than last week, and 3700 sheep, 1300 more.

The NLRS said the mixed yarding had some top heavy weight lambs and trade weights, and fair numbers of secondary lambs and young lambs lacking finish. Most of the usual buyers operated.

Trade lambs were up to $10-$13 dearer, with the few new season lambs making $170-$214. Trade weight old lambs sold from $146-$206, or 845-880c/kg.

Heavy weight lambs were firm to $3 dearer. Old lambs 24-30kg sold from $202-$230 and lambs over 30kg made $260-$277.

Merino lambs were firm to $2 cheaper and trade weight Merinos made $150-$190. Lambs sold to restockers $7-$11 dearer and new season lines going back to the paddock made $105 and $171. Young Merino lambs sold to restockers for $127-$138.

A good line of first cross ewe hoggets sold to restockers for $236. Hoggets sold to $210.

It was a mostly good quality yarding of mutton, with medium weight Merino ewes $5 cheaper and the balance were firm to $4 dearer.

Merino ewes sold from $104-$230 and crossbred ewes made $100-$210. Merino wethers sold from $120-$228. Most of the better sheep made 620-675c/kg. The restockers paid $123-$131 for Merino ewes and $140 for first cross ewes. The restockers also paid from $140-$150 for White Dorper and Aussie White ewes.

Heavy young lambs cheaper at Tamworth

In NSW at the Tamworth saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 1500 lambs, 400 more than last week, and 500 sheep, 400 fewer.

The NLRS said the quality of the lambs was fair to good with more well-finished young lambs. The usual processors attended and there was some strong restocker competition.

Market trends varied through the lambs, with the light and medium weight young lambs selling on a firm to slightly dearer market trend with restocker competition. The heavy weight young lambs sold firm to slightly cheaper with some weight increases. The heavy and extra heavy weight old lambs also sold on a slightly cheaper market trend. Restocker demand was high for ewe lambs.

Prices for light and medium weight sheep to processors experienced improvement. The well-finished heavy weights sold to cheaper trends. Restockers competed strongly on a couple of pens of young shorn Merino ewes joined to Merino rams.

Dublin’s heavy weight lambs lift $15

At the South Australian Livestock Exchange on Tuesday, the agents yarded 5450 lambs, 5990 fewer than last week, and 3700 sheep, 1300 more, for a full field of buyers that included the return of another Victorian processor.

In a mixed quality selection, score 2 and 3 Merino lambs in all weight categories made up a considerable proportion of the offering. The few crossbred lambs were of good to very good quality.

Competition fluctuated throughout the sale, with some good lifts in prices across the market. Extremely light young lambs sold $5-$6 dearer at $84-$139 and light trade types lifted $15-$20 to $130-$160.

Medium trade weights rose $10 to $158-$186 and heavy weights averaged up $15 at $170-$225.

Light older lambs sold mostly firm at $76-$133, light trade weights lifted $15-$20 to $130-$158 and medium weights sold $5-$10 dearer at $164-$186. Heavy weights were also $5-$10 dearer at $175-$252 and a few extreme heavy weights posted a $15-$30 rise to make $204-$260.

Light hoggets sold from $88-$102 with the balance of mostly medium weights making $145-$204.

Light ewes sold from $50-$70, medium weights made $95-$148 and heavy weights sold for $145-$205. Light wethers sold from $95-$150, medium weights made $137-$196 and heavy weights sold to $182. Young Merino ewes sold from $120-$216. Rams made $120-$216.

Naracoorte lambs sell to $260

In South Australia at the Naracoorte saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 8495 lambs, 1179 fewer than last week, and 2199 sheep, 380 more.

The NLRS said the usual trade and processor buyers and some active restockers attended the sale. Quality continued to be very good.

Agents penned a large number of heavy and extra heavy lambs with the weight and finish to attract buyers and the market was mainly easier.

Light lambs to the trade sold from $92-$148 and the lightweight trade 2 and 3 score types made from $146-$159. Restockers sourced light lambs at $126-$151 and paid from $156-$168 for those with more condition.

Trade weight 3 score lambs sold from $147-$187, or around 820c/kg. Heavy lambs made $185-$220 and extra heavy pens sold from $206-$260. Hoggets sold from $115-$181.

Light sheep made $73-$106. Medium weight sheep sold from $118-$146 and the heavy types made $143-$210. Rams sold from $60-$139.

Forbes lambs $5-$10 dearer

In NSW at the Forbes saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded10,300 lambs, 6700 fewer than last week, and 3400 sheep, 1550 less.

The NLRS said most of the lambs were heavy and extra heavy weights. Trade lambs were in short supply and Dorpers fitted this order the best. Store lambs were very limited.

The market sold to a dearer trend with store lambs up $5-$10 dearer at $110-$175. Medium and heavy trade lambs were up $10 and sold from $180-$196, or 890c/kg. Heavy lambs up to 26kg lifted $8-$10 to $186-$216, or 820-860c/kg for the lighter end. Extra heavy lambs were firm at $227-$268. The best of the heavy hoggets made $230.

Mutton quality was good, with plenty of medium and heavy sheep. Medium weight Merinos were $4 cheaper at $129-$152. Heavy crossbred ewes were firm at $176-$218 and heavy Merinos sold to $230.

Ballarat’s trade lambs firm to $10 easier

In Victoria at the Ballarat saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 36,413 lambs, 5522 more than last week, and 14,184 sheep, 598 more.

The NLRS said lamb quality was good to excellent, with a large portion of the yarding coming off feed. All the usual buyers attended and there were extra store buyers.

Lambs sold firm to $5 dearer back to the paddock, but the market was very erratic at times, with trade weight lambs firm to $10 softer in places, and heavy and extra heavy lambs mostly firm.

Orders for feeder and restocker lambs were strong. Light lambs under 20kg sold back to the paddock for $67-$177 and the 20kg and over lines made $168-$197. Lambs suiting MK orders under 18kg sold from $125-$159. Shorn 18-22kg lambs sold to the trade for $151-$194 and the 22-24kg lines made $187-$207, or 782-882c/kg to average around 830-840c/kg. Lambs 24-26kg sold from $204-$229, or 830c/kg. Export score 4 26-30kg lambs made $226-$244 to average 830c/kg, and the over 30kg lines sold from $246-$278, or 785c/kg.

Woolly sucker lambs 18-22kg made $154-$184, the 22-26kg lines sold from $185-$200 and the 26-30kg pens made $228-$237, to average 810-820c/kg. Crossbred hoggets sold to $200 and Merinos made to $189.

Sheep quality was plain to very good with all weights offered. Not all processors operated, causing the market to be $10-$20 cheaper and more in places. Merino mutton sold to $209. Heavy Merino wethers over 24kg sold from $154-$215, with lighter weights making from $88-$160, or 590-600c/kg. Heavy Merino ewes sold from $150-$201, to average 580-600c/kg. Heavy crossbred ewes made $153-$215, or 550-560c/kg.

Graziers and exporters push prices at Muchea

In Western Australia yesterday at the Muchea saleyards, the agents yarded 6000 lambs, 1750 more than last week, and 6786 sheep, 2083 more.

The NLRS said demand for store and airfreight-type lambs from a combination of graziers, feedlotters, the trade and live exporters pushed prices $5 dearer. Trade and heavy weight lambs sold firm.

There was again no disparity in prices between old and new season lambs. The very light weight 11-12kg lambs sold to graziers for $65-$85. The 13-17kg air freight types sold from $80-$139 or 770c/kg.

The 18-20kg light trade lambs made $133-$147 or 735c/kg. The prime 21-22kg lambs sold from $135-$168, or 720c/kg. Heavier weights above 23kg made $159-$177 at 720c/kg. Hoggets remained firm on quality, with sales from $120-$157 or about 535c/kg.

In the mutton market, light and medium weight boners were $5-$10 easier, and medium trade weights and heavies remained firm. The small selection of heavy older wethers sold firm to processors and the best made $143-$169.

Values fluctuated in the ewe mutton market. The light weight boners eased $5 to $67-$85 and medium weight 19-24kg boners made $85-$130, down $10. The prime 25-30kg lines sold from $130-$172, with the best carrying large fleeces. Carcase weight rates averaged 530c/kg. Heavier weights sold firm at $160-$183, to average 520c/kg.

Tasmanian lambs selling firm to $3 dearer

In Tasmania at the Powranna saleyards yesterday, the agents yarded 2434 lambs, 245 fewer than last week, and 3087 sheep, 106 more.

The NLRS said it was a very good quality yarding of prime lambs. Although most were still unshorn the season has been so good that lambs have done very well.

The lamb market was fully firm to $3 dearer and all the regular buyers were active.

Restockers paid $92-$110 for very small lambs, light weights sold from $152-$156 and light trades made $148-$166. Processors paid from $150-$166 for light tradeweights, $164-$186 for trade lambs, $186-$208 for heavyweights and $196-$220 for extra heavy pens.

There was a good quality run of mutton, but following interstate trends the market eased $15-$20 from last week’s very strong sale. There were more Merinos carrying medium to heavy skins. Extra heavy ewes sold from $148-$161, heavyweights made $135-$167 and medium weights sold from $90-$135. The light sheep made $109-$124 and very light lines sold from $75-$94. Restockers bought lean sheep to run on for $101-$110.

Source: NLRS.



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