NEW season lambs continued to trickle into NSW saleyards and a Victorian centre mid-week, while domestic processors and butchers competed keenly for quality trade weights in 2014-drop lines to supplement direct supplies.
Although the National Livestock Reporting Service quoted its eastern states daily and national trade lamb indicators as down 5-6 cents after Thursday’s sales, processors are still paying 580-660c/kg cwt for quality medium and heavy trade weight drafts and 600-620c/kg for export weights.
At the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange at Carcoar, the NLRS said 12-18kg new season lambs with $5-$8 skins sold for $80-$106, or 500-577c/kg. At Cootamundra, new season lambs, 12-20 kg cwt and with $4-$8 skins, sold from $68-$124, or 457-611c/kg. New season lambs at Wagga, at 20-22kg cwt with an $8 skin, made $145 or 623c/kg. Ouyen agents yarded some early sucker lambs that made $141 on Thursday.
NLRS indicators fall for trade lambs, lift for heavies
After Thursday’s saleyards sales, the Eastern States Daily Indicators for lambs are: restocker 552c/kg, down 14 cents; Merinos 539c/kg, down 8c; light 563c/kg, down 1c; trade 597c/kg, down 5c, and; heavy 604c/kg, up 2c. The national trade lamb indicator closed down six cents on 595c/kg and the heavy lamb indice is on 603c/kg, up one cent.
The ESDI for mutton is down three cents to 398c/kg and the national indicator is on 396c/kg, down three cents.
Carcoar’s trade lambs $3 cheaper
In NSW at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange at Carcoar, the agents yarded 10,900 lambs, 2400 more than last week, and 4280 sheep, 680 more.
The NLRS said the mixed yarding included excellent heavy weight lambs and trade weights with a large percentage of secondary lambs.
Lightweight lambs sold $2 cheaper to processors, with the 12-18kg cwt 2 scores making $60-$104. Restocker lambs were firm to $2 cheaper, with the better weights selling from $90-$121. Trade lambs were $3 cheaper compared to last week’s very strong market. The 18-23kg 3 scores sold from $92-$149 to average 608c/kg cwt.
Heavy weight lambs up to 30kg were $3-$5 cheaper, while those over 30kg were firm. The over 22kg 4 scores sold from $130-$205. Hoggets sold to $125.
Most weights and grade were represented in a mixed mutton yarding, with most sheep selling $2-$4 cheaper. The 2 score ewes sold from $48-$78, while the better 3 and 4 score crossbreds made $78-$129 for crossbreds and some longer wool Merinos sold to $146. The few properly finished Merino wethers sold from $106-$124.
Cootamundra trade lambs $3-$6 dearer
At the Cootamundra saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 5790 lambs, 1585 fewer than last week, and 4280 sheep, 680 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was back on the last sale two weeks ago. There were fewer crossbred lambs and some were lacking bloom. There were more light Merino lambs. All the usual buyers attended, although not all operated in the firm to dearer market.
Light Merino lambs sold to the trade $6-$9 cheaper at $71-$101. Merino trade lambs up to 22kg cwt made to $120, to average 530c/kg cwt. Trade lambs were $3-$6 dearer on average, although a large draft sold to a stronger trend. Medium and heavy trade lambs ranged from $114-$146, ranging from 575-600c/kg.
Heavy lambs were the best finished and sold firm to $3 stronger, ranging from $142-$169, to average around 610c/kg.
Mutton numbers lifted and quality remained mixed and included a lot more plainer lighter sheep. Prices for the lighter weight sheep were back $2-$7, but the heavy weights were firm. Medium weight Merino ewes with a big skin ranged from $72-$130. Heavy crossbreds sold for $140 and Merino wethers with a full jacket made to $154.60. Most averaged 380-420c/kg cwt.
Keen competition for lambs at Wagga
On Wednesday at the Wagga saleyards, the agents yarded 35,000 lambs, 5000 more than last week, and 11,000 sheep, 1000 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was very good in the trade and heavy weight categories. There was a reasonable number of trade lambs with fewer long wool types. Well-shaped trade lambs were keenly sought by several domestic processors. Several processors also competed keenly for the plainer lambs lacking finish. The usual domestic and export buyers competed in a steady market. Bidding intensified for the better finished heavy trade lambs, aided by stronger demand from southern domestic buyers.
The bulk of the heavy trade lambs averaged 615c/kg cwt, reaching a top price of $164.60. Trade lambs, 20-22kg cwt, were keenly sought by all domestic processors, with the slaughter lambs averaging $142.50.
Light weight plain lambs sold to strong competition, with export processors keen to secure numbers. Light lambs sold to processors for $76-$115. The few restockers operating paid from $59-$116.
Heavy export lambs were well-supplied with plenty weighing more than 30kg cwt. Heavy lambs made from $146-$176, to average 621c/kg. The bulk of the extra heavy lambs sold from $162-$205.60, averaging 579-600c/kg.
Mutton quality was mixed, with all weights and grades represented. Merino ewes suitable for the trade made from $84-$122. Heavy sheep were well-supplied and prices were generally unchanged to a few dollars dearer. Merino ewes made from $110-$133. There were more heavy Merino wethers and several lots with very little skin value sold from $118-$130, to average 439c/kg cwt. There were also more heavy crossbred ewes and these made $94-$136.
Hamilton’s trade lambs sell firm
In Victoria at the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 5356 sheep, 175 fewer than last week, and 2032 sheep, 376 more.
The NLRS the lamb quality was plainer overall, although there were some very good pens of medium trade and heavy lambs. The regular buyers attended and competition remained consistent.
Light weight lambs sold $1-$2 cheaper. Medium trade 2 and 3 score lambs and the heavy trade 3 and 4 scores sold at firm prices. There was more local restocker activity for light Merino lambs, with light 1 and 2 scores making $30-$42.
Light trade weight 2 score lambs sold from $79-$116. Medium trade 2 and 3 scores sold from $122-$145, ranging from 620-650c/kg cwt. Heavy trade 3 and 4 scores sold from $148-$160. The heavier 4 score export lambs made from $175-$200, averaging around 605c/kg cwt.
Sheep quality improved and some young Merino 2 score wethers sold to restockers for $61-$64. Sheep prices were firm to unchanged, with the light 1 and 2 score sheep making $49-$78 and the medium to heavy weight 3 score mutton selling from $77-$100. Heavy 4 score sheep ranged from $100-$126 and the best Merino wethers made $102-$114. The better quality mutton came out at 380-400c/kg cwt. Hoggets, 3 and 4 scores, sold from $80-$130. The better rams made $68-$80.
Horsham’s trade and heavy lambs firm to dearer
At the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 2440 lambs, 2772 fewer than last week, and 2251 sheep, 448 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was average in the typical winter yarding. Not all the usual buyers attended or operated fully.
There was keen competition for the better presented trade weight and heavy lambs, which sold firm to a few dollars dearer on last week. Lighter plainer types were a little cheaper. Restocking activity was limited to a few pens of lighter lambs selling from $47-$63.
Light weight 1 and 2 score lambs sold from $70-$104. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $104-$134, or around 620c/kg cwt. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $128-$165, or from 580-660c/kg to average around 620c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs made $174.50-$201. Heavier Merino lambs sold from $122-$135 and the trade weights made $108-$115. Heavy hoggets made from $110-$116.50.
The good quality mutton offering included heavy crossbred sheep that sold firm to a few dollars easier. The better covered Merino wethers were a little dearer.
Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $66-$76. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep sold from $84.50-$114.50. These ranged from 390-465c/kg cwt to average around 430c/kg. Heavy 3 to 5 score sheep sold from $100-$133 and heavy Merino wethers made $109-$123. The medium weight Merino wethers sold from $95-$107, to average around 430c/kg cwt.
Ouyen’s trade lambs meet keen competition
At the Ouyen Livestock Exchange on Thursday, the agents yarded 11,779 lambs and 2370 sheep.
Trade lambs were keenly sought after, selling to strong competition from extra trade and domestic buyers. Export lambs sold firm to $5 easier.
Crossbred export weight lambs sold from $142-$188, or 560-600c/kg cwt, trade weight lambs made $106-$161 or 600-650c/kg, and the store and light lines ranged from $52-$109.
Light Merino lambs sold from $75-$105, or 520-600c/kg, and the heavy lines made $110-$152, or 520-580c/kg.
Light sheep sold from $42-$102.60 and the heavy lines made $100-$137.60, or 380-420c/kg cwt.
Warwick’s heavy lambs firm to easier
In Queensland at the Warwick saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 1867 lambs and hoggets, and 509 sheep.
Prices for heavier lambs eased, while the remainder sold firm to a shade easier. Well-conditioned mutton held to last week’s rates.
The top pen of lambs from WJ and JA Dehnert of ‘May Park’, Chinchilla, sold for $142 to Tony’s Super Meats.
Crossbred lambs of 46-55kg lwt sold from $130-$142, the 42-45kg lambs made $116-$124, the 36-42kg lines sold for $108-$119 and the 35-40kg lots ranged from $100-$111. Crossbred hoggets weighing 55kg sold for $110.
In the sheep pens, trade wethers with a skin value of $15 sold to $110 or 425c/kg cwt and the light drafts ($12 skin) sold to $60 or 325c/kg. Heavy crossbred ewes with $25 skins sold to $137 or 420c/kg cwt and the light ewes with $3 skins made to $ 77.00 or 295c/kg.
Abundant store lambs at Katanning
In WA at the Katanning saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 4173 lambs, 1299 more than last week, and 4000 sheep, 1000 more.
The NLRS said it was a very mixed quality yarding. Store lambs were abundant, with little rain predicted for the coming month. All the usual buyers attended and lamb prices were firm.
Lightweight new season lambs sold from $50-$98. Light store lambs sold from $30-$55, to average $48. Air freight lambs sold from $70-$110, to average $93. Crossbred trade weight lambs made from $104-$122. Merino trade weight lambs sold for $105. Merino lambs to restockers sold from $35-$67, to average $49.
Prices for ewes and wethers lifted $5-$6. Young merino ewes sold to restockers for $48-$89. Light ewes sold for $35-$37. The 2 score mutton made $45-$68 and the better 3 score sheep sold for $65-$110, to average $87. Processors paid $55-$95 for wethers.
Restockers and feeder wethers made $50-$90. Live export wethers sold for $80-$104. Ram prices improved, with processor paying $20-$80. Ram lambs sold to $104 and those suitable for live export made $45-$88.
Tasmanian lamb prices dearer
At the Northern Tasmanian saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 870 lambs, 730 fewer than last week, and 750 sheep, 100 more.
The NLRS said there were smaller yardings of lambs at Powranna and Killafaddy, with only a few light and very light lambs.
Prices for trade and heavy lambs were dearer, with trade weights up $4-$6 and heavier lines $5-$10 better than last week. The few light lambs made $91-$94, while light trade weights sold from $100-$109 and the heavier trade weights made $105-$137. Heavy pens sold for $129-$147 and the few extra heavy lambs made $141-$158.
The mutton market was very strong, with most sheep selling $6-$10 dearer. Very light sheep made $44-$78 and light weights sold from $66-$86. Medium weights sold from $86-$101 and heavy ewes made $98-$101.
Source: MLA, NLRS, Ouyen Livestock Exchange, Warwick Livestock Selling Agents Association.