Domestic Lamb

Domestic buyers push trade and heavy lamb prices higher

Sheep Central, May 8, 2015
These 16.8kg cwt Poll Dorset cross lambs at Cooma, NSW, sold for $121 on AuctionsPlus yesterday.

These 16.8kg cwt Poll Dorset cross lambs at Cooma, NSW, sold for $121 on AuctionsPlus yesterday.

Trade lamb and heavy lamb prices improved further in Australian saleyards mid-week, as domestic processors chased supply and quality from reduced yardings.

However, mutton prices lost some ground in some saleyards with the absence of major processor Fletcher International  and other processors also winding down sheep kill requirements.

After the completion of Thursday’s saleyard sales, he National Livestock Reporting Service quoted trade and heavy lamb national and Eastern States Daily Indicators as improving by 4-6 cents. Mutton indicators were relatively firm on 363-364c/kg.

The ESDIs for the lamb categories are: restocker 548c/kg, no change; Merinos 501c/kg, down 4 cents; light 533c/kg, no change; trade 572c/kg, up 4 cents; heavy 573c/kg, up six cents. The national trade lamb indicator is at 575c/kg, up 4 cents, and the heavy lamb indice closed on 363c/kg, down 1 cent.

The ESDI for mutton is firm on 364c/kg and the national indice is up one cent to 363c/kg.

Carcoar trade and heavy lambs $7-$11 dearer

In NSW at the Carcoar’s Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange, the agents yarded 7800 lambs, 3700 fewer than last week, and 2500 sheep, 1000 fewer.

The NLRS said most weights and grades were represented with some good trade and heavy weight lambs and good numbers of lightweights suited to restockers. The market was strong compared to the previous week’s cheaper sale.

Lambs to the restockers were firm to $3 cheaper, with restockers paying from $35-$114 for crossbreds. Trade lambs were $7-$11 dearer, with the 3 scores selling from $95-$140, to average 581c/kg cwt. Heavy weight lambs were $11 dearer and more in places, with the over 22kg cwt 4 scores making $128-$215. Hoggets sold to $118.

The plainer quality yarding of mutton contained all grades, which sold $1-$3 cheaper. The 2 score ewes sold from $40-$76, while the better 3 and 4 scores crossbreds made $70-$124 and the Merinos sold to $105. The 3 and 4 score Merino wethers sold from $85-$105.

Cootamundra lambs dearer

At the Cootamundra saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 4500 lambs, 100 more than last week, and 2400 sheep.

The NLRS said lamb quality was not as good, with more lighter store lambs. There were fewer trade and heavy weight lambs, but most were in good condition and there was a very good run of extra heavy weights. Most of the usual buyers competed in a dearer market.

Light restocking lambs ranged from $32-$76 for the very light 1 scores. Light trade weights to restockers reached $116. The medium and heavy trade weights lifted $4-$7 and ranged from $115- $137.60, to average around 580c/kg cwt. Heavy weight lambs gained $10 and there was strong competition on the light export weights. Prices ranged from $132-$155, averaging 560c/kg cwt. Extra heavy lambs reached $192.

Mutton quality varied, resulting in a cheaper trend than prices two weeks ago. Medium weight ewes sold from $62-$91. Heavy crossbreds made $109-$122. Heavy Merino wethers sold from $98-$115 and most ranged from 340-365c/kg cwt.

Wagga trade lambs lift $10

At the Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 24,000 lambs, 3000 fewer than last year, and 6000 sheep, 1500 less.

The NLRS said quality was quite mixed, with the trade lambs dry and lacking finish. A full field of domestic and export buyers attended and there was strong restocker competition. Trade lambs were in shorter supply and there was a greater variance in quality, with many pens lacking finish.

Light trade weight lambs were limited and the better finished lambs averaged $125.60. Medium and heavy trade lambs were in reasonable supply and select butcher orders and stronger demand from major domestic buyers lifted prices by $10. The better-finished medium and heavy trade lambs made from $140-$150 to average 600c/kg cwt. There were fewer Merino lambs and well-finished pens suitable for the trade made from $108-$142.60. Plainer light weight lambs to the processors were keenly sought and prices were $2-$5 higher.

Heavy and extra heavy lambs sold to a much stronger level of demand, with major domestic processors pushing prices higher. The bulk of the heavy and extra heavy lambs sold $8-$12 dearer. Heavy lambs averaged 600c, while the extra heavy pens averaged 574c/kg cwt.

Mutton quality was mixed, with most sheep once again medium weights. Merino ewes suitable for the trade were well-supplied and competition was stronger, resulting in a dearer trend of $6. Trade sheep made from $72-$104. There were fewer heavy sheep and these sold from $96-$128 to average 380-402c/kg cwt.

Hamilton’s heavy trade lambs $7-$11 dearer

In Victoria at the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 8074 lambs, 2867 fewer than last week, and 4542 sheep, 3969 less.

The NLRS said the usual buyers bid on a mixed quality lamb yarding, not of the standard of previous weeks. Many good lines of medium trade weight lambs were yarded, which sold at improved prices. The higher percentage of unfinished secondary lambs attracted less interest from restockers and only a few Hamilton agents operated.

Light weight 1 and 2 score lambs sold unchanged, but some sales were $3-$5 cheaper in places. There was a $3-$6 dearer trend for the 18-22kg cwt 3 to 4 score medium lambs and the heavier lambs 4 score, 22kg plus, were $7-$11 dearer. Light lambs, 1 and 2 scores, sold from $52-$110, and the medium trade weight, 3 and 4 scores, made $110-$131, or 580-620c/kg cwt. The heavier lambs made from $136-$151 and sold from 560-580c/kg.

The sheep yarding had more light weights, which sold to a cheaper trend, with prices $3-$10 back on last week. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $44-$73, medium mutton, 2 and 3 scores, made $74-$95 and heavy sheep, 3 to 4 score, made $90-$122 to average close to 350c/kg. Best Merino wethers sold from $90-$115, ranging from 380-400c/kg. The better rams sold from $54-$65.

Horsham lambs mostly firm

At the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 6838 lambs, 2292 fewer than last week, and 2612 sheep, 1132 more.

The NLRS said lamb quality was again good, with several pens of well-presented heavy lambs which sold to $191. The usual buyers operated in a mostly firm lamb market, with the better trade weight and heavy lambs a few dollars up on last week.

Light weight 1 and 2 score lambs sold from $87-$96. Lighter trade 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $94-$122. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $120-$138.50 and ranged from 530-600c/kg cwt, to average around 560c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $135-$172, to average around 550c/kg. Extra heavy export lambs sold from $173-$191. Heavy hoggets sold to $115.

All weights and grades of sheep were yarded, with the ewe mutton selling to an easier trend and the wethers selling mostly firm. Restockers paid to $79.50 for Merino wethers. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $38-$75. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep sold from $64-$102 and ranged from 300-410c/kg cwt, to average around 370c/kg. Heavy 3 to 5 score sheep sold from $90-$118, with heavy Merino wethers selling from $104-$122 and the medium weights making $75-$116, or 380-400c/kg cwt.

Mt Gambier lambs cheaper in small yarding

In SA at the Mt Gambier saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 728 lambs, 285 fewer than last week, and 103 sheep, 11 less.

The NLRS said lamb quality was mixed and with fewer buyers, prices tended to ease across the market. Light weight lambs to the trade ranged from $70-$87, with light weight trade 2 and 3 score lambs making $94-$106 to be firm in price. Trade weight 3 score lambs ranged from $108-$131 at an average of 540c/kg cwt and up to $4 easier. Heavy 4 score lambs ranged from $122-$158 and eased by up to $6.

Hoggets sold to $115 and wethers made up to $107. Light and medium weight ewes ranged from $45-$55 and the heavy types made $90-$100. Rams sold from $20-$46.

Katanning competition solid

At the Katanning saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 8743 lambs, 4257 fewer than last week, and 11,000 sheep, 696 less.

The NLRS said competition was solid for the good quality yarding from a full field of buyers and prices were firm on last week.

Light store lambs sold from $20-$76, air freight lambs made $55-$107 and crossbred lambs, 18-22kg cwt, remained firm, at $80-$120. Merino lambs weighing 18-22kg cwt sold from $68-$105 to average $92. Merino lambs to restockers sold from $42-$93, depending on quality. Heavy lambs, over 22kg, were firm and made from $92-$140.

The light ewes to processors made $30-$56 to be remain firm. The 2 score processor mutton made from $45-$89 and the better 3 score mutton sold up to $92. Restocker ewes sold from $45-$65 and reached $86 for heavier quality lines. Wether prices were strong due to increased demand, with better export types making $83-$117. Store drafts made from $45-$118 and processor wethers made $45-$128 depending on weight. Rams remained firm, with export rams making $59-$108. Processors and feeders paid from $20-$100 for rams.

Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus

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