PRICES for quality trade and heavy new season lambs regained some ground mid-week in eastern states saleyards as buyers chased carcase weight and yield.
National Livestock Reporting Service sale summary price ranges indicate more trade and heavy suckers were bought under 550c/kg mid-week, while the best fresh, sappy and better yielding 18.1-22kg cwt lines sold to 620c/kg at Carcoar, to 650c/kg at Wagga, to 609c/kg at Horsham and to 630c/kg at Ouyen.
Quality heavier 22.1-24kg new season lines sold to 644c/kg at Carcoar, to 635c/kg at Wagga, to 652c/kg at Horsham and to 610c/kg at Ouyen.
Elders auctioneer at Wagga Joe Wilks said processor demand was stronger for a better quality offering of trade and heavy new season lambs at the centre this week. Export demand on 12.1-18kg suckers was also stronger and restockers were active on light lambs.
“I think it was quality this week – they were sappy, they were fresh, so they knew these ones would yield, rather than buying drier skins and not getting the yield out of them,” he said.
Landmark Wagga livestock manager Peter Cabot said there more lighter lambs had come into the centre recently and major processors this week were looking to increase the average carcase weights of their purchases with heavier, higher-yielding lambs.
At the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange at Carcoar on Wednesday, the National Livestock Reporting Service quoted 12.1-18kg suckers with $1-$8 skins as making $71-$105, or 469-569c/kg. The 18.1-22kg trade weights with $8-$11 skins sold from $115-$140, or 547-620c/kg, and heavy weights with $11 skins made $159, or 644c/kg.
At the Wagga saleyards on Wednesday, 12.1-18kg new season lambs with $5-$10 skins made $74-$113, or 514-575c/kg. The 18.1-22kg lambs with $5-$13 skins sold from $105-$150, or 480-650c/kg, and the 22.1-30kg lines with $12-$13 skins ranged from $140-$178, or 536-635c/kg.
In Victoria at the Horsham saleyards, the 12.1-18kg news season lambs with $5-$9 skins made $80-$113, or 514-592c/kg. The trade weights with $10-$11 skins sold from $120-$145, or 579-509c/kg, and the 22.1-24kgkg drafts with $11 skins ranged from $153-$167.50, or 617-652c/kg.
Katanning’s 12.1-18kg suckers with $1-$5 skins made $65-$99, or 360-520c/kg, and the 18.1-22kg lines with $1-$5 skins sold from $100-$115, or 477-525c/kg.
NLRS lambs indicators drift lower
After the close of Thursday’s saleyard sales, the NLRS Eastern States Daily Indicators for the lamb categories are: restocker 542c/kg, down 4 cents; Merino 519c/kg, down 5c; light 542c/kg, down 7c; trade 579c/kg, down 3c, and; heavy 585c/kg, down 1c. The national trade lamb indicator closed down 3 cents to 579c/kg and the heavy lamb indicator finished on 585c/kg, down 2 cents.
The mutton indicators lifted 1 cent on Thursday, with the ESDI on 368c/kg and the national indicator on 366c/k.
Carcoar’s light lambs firm to $3 dearer
In New South Wales on Wednesday at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange, Carcoar, the agents yarded 5690 lambs, 1710 fewer than last week, and 2200 sheep, 100 less.
The NLRS said the plain quality penning had just a few pens of properly finished new season and heavy weight old lambs. Most of the yarding was tail-end lambs showing the effects of the winter.
Light weight lambs sold firm to $3 dearer, with the 12-18kg cwt lambs making $45-$99. Trade weight new season lambs sold a little dearer at $115-$159. Trade weight old lambs were $5-$8 cheaper, due mainly to the plainer quality. The 18-22kg lambs sold from $95-$131.
Heavy weight lambs sold firm to $4 dearer, with the over 22kg 4 scores selling from $121-$206. Restockers paid to $105 and hoggets sold to $100.
It was a mixed quality yarding of mutton and most grades sold $9-$12 cheaper. The 3 and 4 score Merino ewes sold from $62-$110 and the crossbreds to $112. A good supply of 2 score Merino wethers sold from $50-$71 to processors and to $75 to restockers.
Wagga suckers regain price falls
At the Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 28,000 lambs, 6000 more than last week, and 7850 sheep, 850 more.
The NLRS said the quality of the estimated 11,320 new season lambs was very good. Old lamb numbers declined and quality was mixed, with a limited portion supplementary fed or crop-finished. A full turn-out of domestic and export buyers operated, along with stronger competition from restockers for new season lambs in good condition with frame. New season lambs regained some of the recent falls as buyers balanced purchases between heavy and lighter trade weight categories.
The best of the 22-24kg lambs sold $3 dearer, making from $140-$164 to average 594c/kg cwt. Buyers operated on skin values of $10-$13. Restocking buyers entered the market for well-bred new season lambs and the heavier portion sold from $106-$113. Old trade lamb quality varied greatly and the better finished lambs weighing 21-24kg sold from $116-$165, with heavy trade lambs averaging 571c/kg.
A mixed selection of heavy and extra heavy lambs was offered and sold to a regular group of buyers. Lambs weighing 24-26kg sold up to $4 cheaper, with extra heavy lambs making $161-$205.80 and averaging 576c/kg.
Merino lambs were well-supplied, but quality varied greatly through each category. The better finished trade Merino lambs sold from $110-$133.
The mixed quality sheep included all weights and grades. A fair percentage of ewes and wethers were medium weight sheep, with a substantial portion shorn or shorter skinned. Merino ewe mutton sold to slightly stronger demand, with prices $3 dearer. Heavy crossbred ewes were keenly contested and prices were unchanged, averaging 337c/kg cwt. Heavy Merino ewes were hotly contested, with prices lifting $6 to set a top price of $128.60. The better finished heavy sheep made 337-375c/kg.
Hamilton lamb prices firm
In Victoria at the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 1555 lambs, 1311 fewer than last week, and 2328 sheep, 918 more.
The NLRS said the yarding was again mixed for the lambs, with a couple of good quality pens, and better for sheep. A smaller field of buyers attended, but not all operated, though demand remained steady throughout.
Prices for light weight lambs were firm. Trade weights fluctuated from $3 cheaper to $2 dearer, to also end up firm. Heavy lamb prices were unchanged.
Light weight 1 and 2 score lambs made $45-$95, while light trade weight 2 and 3 scores lambs sold from $100-$112. The medium to heavy trade weight 2 and 3 score old lambs sold from $110-$135, to average an estimated 590c/kg cwt. Heavier old 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $142-$178, averaging an estimated 585c/kg.
Light weight sheep sold firm to a few dollars dearer, medium mutton was $2-$5 cheaper, and the heavier sheep were unchanged. Local restockers purchased light younger sheep.
Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $34-$65, the medium mutton 2 and 3 scores made $74-$95 and the heavy x-bred 3 and 4 score sheep ranged from $94-$116, to average an estimated 375c/kg cwt. The best Merino wethers, mostly medium weight 2 and 3 scores, sold from $75-$104, at around 390c/kg.
Horsham lambs sell firm
At the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 2609 lambs, 894 more than last week, and 4229 sheep, 47 fewer.
The NLRS said about 1000 new season young lambs were penned. Most of the regular buyers attended, but not all operated fully. Trade weight and heavy old lambs generally sold firm, on quality.
The trade weight new season young lambs were in good condition and mostly sold from $141-$167.50, or 610-650c/kg cwt, with lighter weights making $107-$130. Restocking activity was limited, but they paid from $68-$98.50 for young lambs.
Light weight 1 and 2 score lambs sold from $69-$86. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs made $88-$115 and averaged around 550c/kg cwt. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $123-$148, or 550-580c/kg to average around 570c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs made $151-$165. Heavy hoggets sold to $119. Merino lambs mostly sold from $84-$108.
Most sheep sold to a dearer trend in a yarding that included all weights and grades, with some heavy runs of crossbreds. More recently shorn Merino sheep were offered. Restockers paid from $86.50-$97.50 for full wool Merino ewes in light condition.
Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $56-$82.50. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep made $62-$100, or 330-420c/kg cwt. Merino sheep averaged around 400c/kg cwt. Heavy 3 to 5 score sheep sold from $79-$118. Merino wethers sold from $76-$93.
Ouyen lamb prices buoyant
At the Ouyen saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 3802 new season lambs, 2651 old lambs and 1609 sheep.
The Ouyen Livestock Exchange reported prices as buoyant despite the absence of a couple of the usual buyers.
Fresher lambs sold $2-$5 dearer. Prices for most of the lambs in all weights and grades sold firm. Mutton were firm to $5 dearer.
Export weight crossbred lambs sold from $156.20-$172, or 560-610c/kg, and the trade weights made $110-$161, or 580-630c/kg.
Light sheep sold from $56-$100, or 350-400c/kg, and heavy lines made $90-$125, or 350-380c/kg.
Katanning mutton demand strong
In Western Australia at the Katanning saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 4069 lambs, 1931 fewer than last week, and 500 sheep.
The NLRS said it was a mixed quality yarding. All buyers attended.
Prime new season lambs sold to $115. Heavier new season lambs made $100-$115, medium weights sold from $85-$95 and the lighter weights from $57-$65. Air freight lambs sold from $65-$100 to average $86. Crossbred lambs made from $90-$115 to average $92. Crossbred lambs to restockers sold from $40-$76, and Merino lambs made $20-$84 to remain firm on last week.
Demand remained strong for mutton, including for export young rams and wethers. Young Merino ewes sold to restockers for $52-$84 while the smaller store wethers made $61-$85. Ewe prices were firm to higher on last week prices and ewes with a fleece sold very well. Light ewes sold to $45, while the 2 score processor sheep with a 7.5cm skins made $64-$87. The better 3 score mutton sold from $70-$101. Restockers paid $77-$87 for the younger store ewes. Wether prices were strong, with processors paying $100-$105. Restockers & feeders paid $65-$87. Live export wethers sold from $85-$128. Young rams sold from $50-$100, while aged rams made $5-$20. Live export rams sold for $50-$78, depending on weight.
Warwick’s heavy lambs firm to slightly easier
In Queensland at the Warwick saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 1222 lambs and hoggets, and 481 sheep at the weekly sale.
The Warwick Livestock Selling Agents Association said the market was firm to a shade easier for the heavy lambs and cheaper for the lighter drier types. The top-priced heavy weight lambs made $144 for Swan Creek producer Andrew Coy.
Crossbred lambs 46-55lg lwt sold from $128-$144, the 42-45kg lambs made $122-$135.50, the 36-42kg lines ranged from $106-$116.50 and the 35-40kg lambs made $96-$102.
Shorn crossbred hoggets, 70kg lwt, sold to $109. Trade wethers with $5 skins made $108, or 405c/kg and light lines with $5 skins sold to $75, or 320c/kg. Heavy crossbred ewes with $5 skins sold to $99, or 405c/kg and light lines with $2 skins made $50, or 300c/kg.
Northern Tasmania prices down $4-$6
Northern Tasmania saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 905 lambs, 195 fewer than last week, and 210 sheep, 590 less.
The NLRS said smaller yardings and quality at the Powranna and Killafaddy saleyards on Tuesday reflected the very cold winter. With one regular buyer very quiet, most prices were $4-$6 cheaper. Light export lambs made $65-$84, light trade weights sold from $87-$96 and heavier trade weights ranged from $119-$129. Heavy weight lambs sold from $141-$143 and extra heavy weights made from $145-$153.
The sheep were mainly light ewes, with almost no good quality medium weights. Prices were generally $3 cheaper. Light ewes made $40-$68 and a few heavy ewes sold from $85-$95.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, Ouyen Livestock Exchange, Warwick Livestock Selling Agents.
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