Demand for quality lifts heavy lamb indicators to 601c/kg

Sheep Central, August 12, 2015
These May-June drop Poll Dorset cross lambs, 1.7kg cwt, sold for $86 at Serpentine, Victoria, on AuctionsPlus yesterday.

These May-June drop Poll Dorset cross lambs, 1.7kg cwt, sold for $86 at Serpentine, Victoria, on AuctionsPlus yesterday.

PRICES for new season lambs with weight and old lambs with finish strengthened in saleyards this week, supported by improving quality, good prices for clean, fresh skins and restocker interest in some centres.

Most quality trade weight and heavier new season lambs are making 550-650c/kg cwt in eastern states saleyards, and averaging highest at Forbes and Deniliquin.

Rates for lighter suckers are more varied from 464-700c/kg, depending on quality and level of restocker interest.

The strength in new season lamb prices and the quality available helped lift the eastern states and national heavy lamb indicators five cents on Tuesday to 601c/kg.

Competition and skin rates keeping new season prices up

At Dubbo on Monday, trade weight 18.1-22kg new season lambs with $1-$11 skins made $112-$147, or 532-600c/kg cwt. The 22.1-26kg lines with $2-$11 skins sold for $141-$165, or 565-616c/kg, and the light 12.1-18kg suckers with $1-$11 skins made $99-$118, or 528-693c/kg.

Corowa’s trade weight new season lambs with $10-$13 skins sold for $115-$153, or 553-653c/kg. The 22.1-26kg lines with $12-$13 skins sold from $141-$166.60, or 538-626c/kg, and the 12.1-18kg lambs with $1-$12 skins ranged from $71-$126, or 453-644c/kg.

Tamworth’s young trade weight lambs with $2-$10 skins made $106-$133.50, or 520-628c/kg, and the 22.1-26kg lambs with $2-$10 skins sold for $118-$161, or 516-617c/kg. The 2.1-18kg drafts with $6-$8 skins sold from $96-$113, or 563-611c/kg.

At Forbes on Tuesday, the trade weight suckers with $1-$12 skins made $112-$157, or 570-664c/kg, and the 22.1-26kg lines with $10-$12 skins sold for $151-$165, or 600-661c/kg. The young 12.1-18kg lambs with $1-$11 skins ranged from $95-$119, or 580-647c/kg.

Deniliquin’s young trade lambs with $10-$11 skins sold from $124-$155.60, or 618-657c/kg, and the 22.1-26kg drafts with $10-$11 skins made $150-$169, or 579-643c/kg.

In Victoria, Bendigo’s early trade weight young lambs with $6-$11 skins made $102.20-$154, or 506-651c/kg, and heavier lines with $11-$12 skins sold from $146.60-$168, or 561-652c/kg. The lighter lines with skins up to $6 made $67-$107, or 473-561c/kg.

Ballarat’s few new season trade weight lambs with $8 skins sold at $128, or 632c/kg, and lighter lambs with $6 skins made $100, or 588c/kg.

At the South Australian Livestock Exchange at Dublin, young trade weight lambs with $2-$9 skins made $118-$148, or 550-636c/kg, and the 22.1-26kg lines with $6-$10 skins sold from $138-$164, or 565-648c/kg. The 12.1-18kg lines with $4-$8 skins made $70-$121, or 464-700s/kg.

Naracoorte’s few new season lines were confined to 24.1-26kg lambs with $6 skins making $172 or 639c/kg, and some 12.1-16kg lambs with $5 skins selling for $82 or 550c/kg.

In Western Australia at the Muchea saleyards, trade weight suckers with $1-$3 skins sold for $95-$107, or 460-511c/kg, and the 22.1-26kg lines with $4 skins sold from $118-$128, or 483-507c/kg. The 12.1-16kg lines with $1-$2 skins made $56.50-$100, or 419-528c/kg.

Over-the-hook rates firm in NSW and Victoria, higher in SA

In NSW, the National Livestock Reporting Service quoted over-the-hook lamb rates as firm week-on-week, with the majority of contributors making no changes to rates. The 2-4 score trade weight lamb rates are 530-600c/kg, 22kg+ lambs are 570-600c/kg and Merinos 16-22kg are at 460-540c/kg. Lamb quality continues to be low due to the cold conditions, the NLRS said.

NSW mutton rates were unchanged across all categories. The 2-4 score 14-18kg sheep rates are 270-360c/kg and the 18kg+ mutton is priced at 330-400c/kg. A no quote is given for 18kg + mutton due to a new contributor being included.

In Victoria, the NLRS said over-the-hook indicators for old season lambs were firm to lower this week, with trade weight lambs back 8c/kg cwt to average 593c/kg cwt. The 2-4 score 22-24kg rates at 550-620c/kg are down 10 cents and the 24-26kg+ rates are firm at 580-600c/kg. The 16-22kg Merino rates are down 25 cents to 480-490c/kg.

Victorian mutton OTH rates eased slightly across all categories. The 14-18kg rates are down 3 cents at 310-350c/kg and the 18-24kg+ mutton is at 330-360c/kg, also down 3 cents.

In South Australia, the NLRS said the over-the-hook lamb indicators edged higher on week-ago levels, with the old season trade weight lamb indicators averaging 607c/kg cwt. The 18-22kg rates are up 20 cents to 600-620c/kg; the 22-26kg+ rates are 580-620c/kg, also up 20 cents, and the 16-22kg Merinos are priced at 550c/kg, up 10 cents.

SA’s medium and heavy weight mutton over-the-hook indicators eased slightly, with 14-18kg rates at 320-370c/kg and the 18-24kg mutton down 5 cents to 280-360c/kg.

The NLRS reported Tasmania’s over-the-hook rates for lambs as unchanged, with 2-4 score 0-18kg carcases valued at 540-600c/kg and the 118-26kg + ranged from 580-600c/kg. SA’s mutton indicators were also unchanged, with the 0-18kg lambs rated at 310-350c/kg and the 18-24kg carcases at 330-360c/kg.

Western Australia’s updated OTH report was not available before Sheep Central published this piece.

NLRS restocker indicator drops

The National Livestock Reporting Service’s Eastern States Daily Indicators for all lamb categories firmed, apart from the restocker indice which lost 26 cents to close at 537c/kg after Tuesday’s saleyard sales.

The other lamb ESDIs are: Merino 545c/kg, up 5 cents; light 546c/kg, up 1c; trade 597c/kg, up 4c, and heavy 601c/kg, up 5c. The national trade lamb indicator also closed on 597c/kg, up 5 cents, and the heavy lamb indice is on 601c/kg, up 5 cents.

The ESDI for mutton closed up three cents to 374c/kg, and a similar rise in the national indice put it at 373c/kg.

Dubbo trade lambs firm to $2 dearer

In New South Wales at the Dubbo saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 35,420 lambs, 5730 fewer than last week, and 7270 sheep, 170 more.

The NLRS said overall quality was back this week, with fewer heavy weight lambs and well-finished trade weights.

Light weight lambs were $4 dearer, with the 12-18kg cwt 2 scores selling from $63-$111. Trade lambs were firm to $2 dearer, with the trade weight new season lambs making $112-$152, or 580-625c/kg cwt. The heavy weight new season lambs sold to $165.

Trade weight old lambs sold from $91-$147. Heavy weights finished firm. Over 22kg old lambs sold from $130-$200. Merino lambs were $3-$5 cheaper, with the trade weights selling from $103-$137 and the heavier weights to $152.

It was a mostly good quality mutton yarding. Most grades were $5 dearer, with the 2 score ewes selling from $56-$78. The better 3 and 4 scores sold from $82-$137 for Merinos and to $124 for crossbreds. The well-finished wethers sold from $100-$140.

Corowa’s new season lambs lift $2-$8

In the Corowa saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 8495 lambs, 2231 fewer than last week, and 3027 sheep, 445 less.

The NLRS said the yarding included a smaller run of 2100 new season lambs. Quality improved, with good lines of new season lambs and a more consistent run of old lambs. New season lambs were mostly medium and heavy trade weights while old lambs were best represented by heavy weights. Not all the usual buyers operated in a market where new season lambs were dearer and old lambs cheaper.

New season lambs were $2-$8 dearer and firm on the heavy weight lambs. Medium and heavy trade weights ranged from $115-$150 and the heavy weights made to $166.60. Most ranged from 580-620c/kg cwt. Old trade lambs were $2-$4 cheaper on average, although rates rallied mid-way through the sale and there were some dearer prices. The trade weights ranged from $114-$141.20. Heavy lambs sold from $126-$168 and extra heavy lambs to $184, or 560-590c/kg.

Mutton quality was mixed. Heavy mutton was well-supplied and most grades sold to easing prices of $2-$8. Medium weight Merinos ranged from $74-$116 and heavy weights made to $139. Most of the better 3 and 4 score sheep ranged from 380-410c/kg cwt.

Tamworth’s young lambs firm to dearer

At the Tamworth saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 3400 lambs, 600 fewer than last week, and 800 sheep, 800 less.

The NLRS said there were more new season young lambs and one buyer returned to the field. Overall, the quality of the lambs was fair to good and all other regular orders were in place. The market trend for young lambs was firm to dearer, with some prices increasing in line with weight increases. Well-finished old lambs also sold firm to dearer. However, improvement was only minimal. Secondary quality light weight lambs sold to a cheaper trend due to restricted demand. There was some restocker activity in the old lambs, with one order competing against trade buyers to secure better quality lambs. There was little change in the market for grown sheep.

Forbes trade weight suckers firm

At the Forbes saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 37,150 lambs, 6709 more than last week, and 5700 sheep, 795 fewer.

The NLRS said lamb quality improved, with better runs of well-finished lambs. Most were heavy and extra heavy weight lambs. The usual buyers competed in a fairly steady market. There were 11,250 new season lambs penned and quality was fair with good numbers of fresh finished lambs available. Prices were firm for trade weight suckers at $124-$156. Heavy weights sold from $151-$165.

Old light lambs held firm at $102-$117. Trade weights were also firm to $2 better at $115-$149. Heavy and extra heavy weights were also fairly steady. Heavy lambs sold from $144-$159. Extra heavies made $153-$189. Carcase prices ranged from 578-610c/kg.

Most of the sheep were mixed quality Merinos. Prices eased slightly, with Merino ewes selling from $75-$132. Crossbred ewes sold from $75-$124. Merino wethers made $86-$152.

Deniliquin new season lambs make 620-630c/kg

At the Deniliquin saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 3819 lambs, 1536 more than last week, and 1134 sheep, 566 fewer.

The NLRS said a solid field of export and domestic buyers operated in a dearer market than a fortnight ago, due in part to improved quality. The highlight was nearly 2500 new season lambs — mostly early drop second-cross lambs off irrigation country — which sold to $169. The supply of old season lambs remained mixed, although there was a better selection of trade weight Merinos which helped improve their prices.

The offering of new season lambs was of a very high standard and the bulk of the trade weight and export pens made from $144-$169 and averaged over $154, or estimated 620-630c/kg cwt with skin values of $10-$12. Some pens of lighter weight young lambs sold from $98-$124.

The odd pens of export weight old season lambs sold to $162 and most of the better quality trade weight lambs made $126-$143. There was a wide carcase price range for old lambs due to the mixed quality. The best finished Merino lambs sold to $128.20 and the general run of lighter trade types made $76-$108.

Price trends were dearer for the sheep. Most of the ewes were heavier export weight types which sold from $102-$120. There was a limited offering of light and plain conditioned mutton.

Bendigo’s best new season lambs lift $5-$7

In Victoria at the Bendigo saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 7158 lambs, 1700 fewer than last week, and 10,989 sheep, 935 more.

The NLRS said overall lamb numbers declined by 10 percent, despite more new season young lambs coming forward. All the regular buyers operated and bidding was stronger, especially on the limited better finished trade and export lambs.

The lead pens of new season lambs averaged $5-$7 dearer and the secondary and lighter weight old lambs, including Merinos, regained most of the previous week’s $8-$20 losses. Prices reached $185.60 for a pen of extra heavy export lambs and new season lambs sold to a top of $168. The market had a stronger floor in it this week, with most lighter and secondary lambs to slaughter making $80-$128.

Most of the Merino lambs were very plain conditioned and light weight types which sold from $45-$85, while the smallest types sold to restockers at $19-$46. One notable draft of more than 500 young Merino wether lambs sold from $55-$86.

The lead pens of new season lambs, suiting supermarket and top-end domestic kill orders, sold from $149-$168 at an estimated 620-650c/kg cwt. The 22-24kg cwt young lambs averaged nearly $161, with buyers working on $10-$12 skins. The young lambs were more mixed for quality, weight and finish, and bidding was more selective at $107-$133 for most.

In the old lamb yarding, extra-heavy export lambs sold to $185.60. There wasn’t a lot of weight on offer and most of the better heavy trade and export lambs sold from $134-$164, in an estimated range of 560-605c/kg depending on size and quality.

Some companies which hadn’t shown much interest in mutton in recent weeks were back operating and the market was dearer by $4-$12. The leaner grades of trade weight Merinos recorded the best price gains. One pen of extra heavy crossbred ewes sold to $137, but most sales were from $94-$122. Most of the Merino sheep were off shears and sold from $60-$90. A range of 330-400c/kg cwt covered most sales.

Ballarat lamb quality mixed

On Tuesday at the Ballarat saleyards, the agents yarded 4080 lambs, 394 fewer than last week, and 2103 sheep, 229 less.

The NLRS said most of the regular buyers attended. Quality was very mixed, but there were opportunities to purchase several pens of better presented trade weight and heavy lambs.

A pen of extra heavy lambs sold to $188. The two pens of new season young lambs sold for $100 and $128, with the heavier lot estimated at 19kg cwt. Lambs mostly sold around last week’s levels, with quality the driving factor. Restockers and feeders paid $87-$126 for lambs and a pen of Dorper cross lambs made $140. Lighter trade weight Merino lambs sold from $87-$110, averaging around 500c/kg cwt. Light weight 1 and 2 score lambs sold from $65-$85.

Lighter trade 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $90-$110, or around 570c/kg. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs made $125-$150, or 550-620c/kg, to average around 590c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $148.60-$179. Heavy hoggets sold from $84-$120. Several pens of lighter weight shorn Merino hoggets made from $49-$77.

The sheep yarding of all weights and grades sold to a dearer trend. Several pens of heavy crossbred wethers sold to $145 and heavy Merino wethers made to $127.20. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $56.50-$80, with very light 1 scores $26-$64. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep sold from $62.50-$107, or 300-410c/kg. Merino ewes averaged around 380c/kg. Heavy 3 to 5 score sheep sold from $82-$145. Heavy Merino wethers sold from $104-$127 and the medium weights made $79-$94 to average around 400c/kg.

Dublin’s new season trade lift $7

In South Australia at the SA Livestock Exchange in Dublin, the agents yarded 11,000 lambs, 507 more than last week, and 4000 sheep, 1678 more.

The NLRS said the yarding’s increased new season lamb offering sold to stronger competition from the usual trade and processor buyers. There were more Merino lambs and processor demand was strong. Feeder buyers, led by a strong order from Naracoorte, ensured that light weight crossbred new season lamb prices lifted.

New season Merino lambs sold to processors for $70-$100 and averaged 541c/kg cwt. Light weight crossbred new season lambs sold to feeders lifted $12 to $85-$104 and light weight Merinos made $48-$62. Light weight 4 scores sold to trade buyers lifted $14 to $118-$133 and averaged 609c/kg. Trade weight 4 scores lifted $7, selling from $124-$148 to average 592c/kg, and heavy trade weights were unchanged at $138-$157, averaging 599c/kg. A couple of drafts of heavy weights sold from $160-$164.

Old crossbred lambs sold to solid competition. Light weight 3 scores lifted $5 to $100-$110, to average 501c/kg. Trade weight 4 scores lifted $4 to $124-$144, to average 540c/kg. Heavy weights eased $5 to $131-$162, or 545-562c/kg.

Light weight old Merinos sold to restockers for $44-$98. Trade weight Merinos sold to processors lifted $2 to $95-$116, averaging 476c/kg. Heavy weights lifted $3 to $120-$140, or 461-482c/kg.

The generally good quality yarding of sheep sold to easing competition from the usual local and interstate, trade and processor buyers. Restockers bought wethers for $85 and paid $78 for ewes. Light weight 2 score ewes eased $10 to $60-$78 and averaged 291c/kg cwt. Heavy weight 3 scores eased $4 to $75-$103, or 280-329c/kg. Heavy weight wethers eased $17 to $95-$102, averaging 339c/kg. Heavy weight rams sold from $60-$75.

Naracoorte’s medium trade lambs lift $3-$5

In the Naracoorte saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 1573 lambs, 119 more than last week, and 1120 sheep, 32 more.

The NLRS said a small field of trade and processor buyers were active and restockers only had a limited impact. Only a small number of new season lambs came forward in a mixed quality penning.

Light weight lamb prices eased, while trade weights lifted. Very few heavy lambs were offered, though a single pen estimated at 26kg cwt sold to $172, or 640c/kg cwt. Light weight young lambs ranged from $72-$81 and light weight lamb to the trade ranged from $42-$77. Merinos sold to $53 and restockers bought lambs for $66.

Light weight trade 2 and 3 score lambs ranged from $73-$118 to be $4 easier. Merinos in this weight range made $87-$112. Trade weight 3 score lambs ranged from $116-$137 and averaged 580c/kg to be up by $3-$5. The few heavy 4 score lambs ranged from $138-$148.

Sheep prices improved and all ewes sold $3-$5 dearer than last week. Light weight 1 and 2 scores ranged from $24-$56. Medium weight 2 and 3 score crossbred ewes ranged from $68-$86 at an average of 330c/kg cwt. Similar weight Merino ewes made $58-$85. Heavy 4 score crossbred ewes sold from $86-$112. Heavy Merino ewes ranged from $80-$97. A small number of wethers ranged from $75-$84. Most of the rams made $60-$90.

Muchea new trade weight lambs sell to $128

In Western Australia at the Muchea saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 4600 lambs, 694 more than last week, and 3600 sheep, 1020 more.

The NLRS said quality was mixed, with numerous small lots of tail-end lambs and some good lines of lambs for processors and restockers. A solid number of Merino lambs was offered. All buyers attended, but adequate supplies of lamb direct to works put two processors out of the competition. Prices for most categories of lambs lifted.

A small number of trade weight new season lambs sold to $128. Light weight store lambs to restockers made $30-$65. Light lamb suitable for feeders, air freight processors and restockers made $60-$98 and were firm overall, with the better drafts marginally dearer. Trade lambs sold from $82-$119, with some better drafts dearer by around $7, but the numerous plain drafts keeping averages close to firm. Better trade drafts made close to 550c/kg cwt, but the plainer drafts sold from 420-480c/kg. Heavy lambs sold to $127.

There were some excellent lines of ewes, but also numerous tail-end sheep lots. Competition and prices improved for most ewe mutton, wether and ram categories. Ewe prices were firm to $12 dearer, with weight and quality lifting prices. Light weight ewes remained firm at $30-$57. The 2 score medium weight drafts sold firm to processors to average $69 or 315c/kg cwt. Better conditioned ewes, including the heavy weight drafts, were $5-$12 dearer due to quality and made $75-$110, or close to 320c/kg cwt.

Wether and ram prices were strong, with two live exporter’s active and solid feeder interest. Export weight wethers made $90-$120 to be dearer. Those sold to feeders and restockers made $55-$114 to be up to $6 dearer. Rams to live export sold from $65-$99.50 and processors paid $49-$100.

Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.


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