HEAVY lamb prices continued to lose ground at major saleyard sales mid-week, while rates for quality trade, light export and restocker lambs were generally firm to dearer.
In Victoria at the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday, agents quoted the heavy lambs $5-$8 cheaper, while light and medium trade weights sold firm and light lambs 14-18kg cwt and suitable for the bag lamb or Middle East trade were $10 dearer.
At the Horsham saleyards, well-finished slaughter lambs were quoted at around $5 dearer, with keen interest in better Merino lines, but there was restricted feeder and restocker interest.
Wagga Wagga agents yesterday also reported reduced restocker and feedlot buying activity due to caution over lambs erupting their permanent teeth. Trade lamb prices were quoted $10-$12 lower, and the heavy and extra heavy lambs offered were quoted $6-$10 cheaper. Light weight lambs also sold at reduced rates to processors.
After Wednesday’s saleyard sales, Meat & Livestock Australia’s national processor lamb (CV19) indicator was firm at $214 a head, and the restocker lamb indicator was back $1 to $158. The mutton indicator was down 2.5 percent to $175 a head.
Hamilton’s light export lambs lift $10
In Victoria at the Hamilton saleyards, the agents yarded 14,742 lambs, 3047 more than last week, and 5000 sheep, 1423 more.
The National Livestock Reporting Service said lamb quality was very good and all the regular processors and buyers were active in the generally firm market that was dearer in places.
The light to medium trade weight lambs sold firm to make 800-880c/kg cwt. The heavy weights were $5-$8 cheaper at 790c/kg, making to $258. The strongest competition was for the light weight lambs, 14-18kg, which were $10 dearer this week, making up to 1000c/kg. These were keenly sought after for the export bag lamb market.
Sheep quality was mixed, with all weights and grades available. The sheep market was softer, with light sheep making 600-670c/g to be $5-$10 cheaper. Medium and heavy weight sheep made 680-740c/kg to be back $10-$15. The best heavy ewes sold to $273 and wethers to $250. Hoggets made to $200. Merino rams sold to $164 and others from $30-$60.
Horsham lambs up $5
At the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 8880 lambs, 1850 more than last week, and 1034 sheep, 437 more.
The NLRS said the yarding contained 1800 Merino lambs. Quality was mostly very good, with lambs finished on grain and district stubbles. The regular buyers operated keenly on the better presented lambs, with agents quoting price up about $5.
Agents reported heavy lambs as selling to $288, with the nicely presented trade weights making $190-$225 at 780-830c/kg. Merino lambs again sold to keen competition to be mostly firm on last week. They made to $248, with most of the better types selling from $200-$240, or around 800c/kg. Feeder and restocker interest was limited, with restockers paying to $177.
Medium trade weight lambs sold from $190-$225 at 780-830c/kg. The 26-30kg lambs sold from $230-$242 and extra heavy export weight lambs made $260-$288, or 750-800c/kg.
Sheep sold to easier competition to be $10 back on last week’s strong result. Shorn Merino wethers sold to $195 and heavy crossbred ewes made to $228. Heavy sheep over 24kg sold from $175-$226 at around 630c/kg. Rams sold to $170.
Wagga trade lamb prices fall $10-$12
In New South Wales at the Wagga Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 33,000 lambs, 3000 more than last week, and 7500 sheep, 1500 more.
The NLRS said the sell-off continued as producers have concerns about the perennial problem of permanent teeth erupting in older lambs and the unstable overseas market environment.
Lamb quality was excellent in the trade and heavy categories, with most lambs grain-assisted. Heavy and extra heavy lambs’ numbers lifted, but lines over 30kg cwt were not as plentiful. There were reasonable supplies of lighter weight lambs with suitable export lines selling to processors at significantly lower prices. Restocker and feedlot buying activity was reduced with buyers cautious over teeth issues.
Despite major domestic buyers operating at the market, trade lamb prices were rolled back $10-$12. The 21-24kg lambs sold from $170-$209, mostly making 820c/kg. Merino trade lambs sold to the buyers, but all categories met weaker competition to make around 720c/kg.
Lambs sold to restockers and feeders eased $5-$10 to $110-$198.
Buyers and agents quoted heavy and extra heavy lambs $6-$10 cheaper with enthusiastic bidding for lambs weighing around the 40kg cwt mark. Lambs weighing 26-30kg sold from $215-$234, or 740-760c/kg. Lambs weighing over 30kg made $233-$296, or 720-760c/kg.
It was another good quality yarding of mutton with heavy sheep well-supplied. Heavy crossbred ewes sold firm at up to $300, or from 690-740c/kg. Heavy wethers made 710-750c/kg. Trade sheep sold close to last week’s price levels at $130-$175, or 680-725c/kg.
Yass lamb market stronger
At the Southern Eastern Livestock Exchange Yass on Wednesday, agents yarded 4673 lambs and sheep.
The agents said lamb numbers eased to 2513 and the quality was mixed. Only a few good trade and heavy lambs were penned and store numbers were limited. Restockers were strong on any light lambs and feeders were very competitive on heavier weights. The market sold to a solid to slightly stronger trend.
Light restocking lambs sold from $121-$207 to feeders to remain firm. Medium and heavy trade lambs up to 24kg sold from $185-$215, 860-920c/kg. Heavy lambs made $215-$236. Merino lambs (120) sold to $189. Light hoggets sold to restockers for $125 and heavy hoggets made to $250 with processors.
Mutton numbers declined and there was strong competition from restocking interests. Prices were fully firm, with most of the medium weights making $135-$180 and heavy crossbred ewes selling to $266. Merinos sold to $177 and Dorper ewes to $210, mostly making 680-720c/kg.
Merino sold to $189 and averaged $133.17. Crossbred lambs sold to $236.20 and averaged $190.76. The hoggets sold to $250 and averaged $174.69. Merino wethers sold to $190 and averaged $168.58. Crossbred ewes sold to $266.20 and averaged $191.58. Merino ewes made to $188 and averaged $142.07.
Katanning sheep and lambs in demand
In Western Australia at the Katanning saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 10,294 lambs, 4246 more than last week, and 12,000 sheep, 3250 more.
The NLRS said the yarding consisted of a large number of store Merino lambs that sold to strong competition. A pen of heavy weight lambs made $210. Light trade weight lambs sold from $110-$130 and heavier trade weights made $135-$160. Heavy weight lambs sold from $170-$210. Light weight lambs made $20-$105. Merino wether lambs sold from $80-$178 and ewe lambs made $20-$115.
Ewe mutton sold to strong competition to be $5 dearer, while all other categories remained equal on last week. The best ewe mutton sold to $241 and wethers to $221. A larger yarding of young ewes sold from $85-$117 depending on weight and quality.
Heavy mutton prices improved to $170-$241. Medium weight ewes made $135-$170, and light weight and store ewes sold from $30-$130. Heavy wethers were firm at $160-$221 and medium weights made $125-$140. Light weight wethers and stores sold firm at $45-$120. Rams remained equal, selling from $4-$119 and from $80-$111 for live export. Ram lambs made $30-$175, depending on weight and quality.