Keen processors and restockers keep saleyard lamb prices firm to dearer

Sheep Central, May 6, 2016
These 400 early-April shorn Coolalee-Merino cross lambs, 19.3kg cwt and mostly score 2-3, sold for $105.50 at Tara in southern Queensland on AuctionsPlus yesterday.

These 400 early-April shorn Coolalee-Merino cross lambs, 19.3kg cwt and mostly score 2-3, sold for $105.50 at Tara in southern Queensland on AuctionsPlus yesterday.

SLAUGHTER lamb rates held firm to slightly dearer despite an overall increase in supply in saleyards nationally.

The Wagga Wagga saleyards in New South Wales yarded 42,000 lambs this week, 18,000 more than last week, but more other eastern states centres offered either fewer or only slightly increased numbers.

With rain falling across the country before sales this week and more forecast over the weekend, most domestic and export processors operated mid-week, bidding most keenly on well-finished supplementary fed lines, but also seeking any drier secondary drafts with weight.

Restockers also reacted to the recent and forecast rain, competing on light and trade weight lambs suitable for supplementary grain or pasture finishing. Light lamb prices lifted $20 at Hamilton.

Competition was keenest for suitable trade lambs or heavier lambs with finish and yield also suitable for domestic orders. Heavy lambs sold up to $18 dearer at Carcoar.

Concerns about future mutton supplies also drove demand for sheep, with heavy weight mutton selling $17-$39 dearer at Wagga.

Carcoar’s heavy lambs lift $18

In New South Wales at Carcoar’s Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange on Wednesday, the agents yarded 6500 lambs, 5525 fewer than last week, and 4100 sheep, 1225 less.

The NLRS said following the good rains, numbers were back considerably. The pretty good quality yarding comprised some good heavy weight lambs and a fair selection of trade weights. Light weight lambs were also well-supplied.

Light weight lambs sold $2 dearer to processors, with the 2 scores making $70-$106. Trade lambs were $6-$9 dearer, with 3 scores selling from $96-$138 to mostly make 530-550c/kg cwt. Heavy weight lambs were up to $18 dearer, with the over 22kg 4 scores selling from $125-$161. Restockers paid to $117 and hoggets sold to $110.

The mostly plain quality yarding of mutton had only odd pens of well-finished sheep. Light weight sheep sold around firm and the few better sheep were $5-$9 dearer. The 2 score ewes sold from $20-$74. The better 3 and 4 score crossbreds made $60-$114 and Merinos sold to $109. Merino wethers sold to $96.

Cootamundra’s lambs dearer

At the Cootamundra saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 4900 lambs, 1400 fewer than last week, and 3600 sheep, 1400 less.

The NLRS said lamb quality was very mixed, with some good lines of well-finished lambs and plainer drier types. The usual buyers competing in a dearer market.

Light lambs sold from $95-$108. Trade weights were well-supplied and prices ranged from $105-$129. Heavy lambs made $130-$134 and the few extra heavy weights sold from $138-$160. Carcase prices ranged from 497-530c/kg.

Most of the sheep were Merinos. Quality was very mixed and prices lifted. Merino ewes sold from $74-$104 and crossbred ewes made $74-$107.

Wagga’s trade lambs unchanged to $2 dearer

At the Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 42,000 lambs, 18,000 more than last week and 9300 sheep, 300 more.

The NLRS said despite the surge in numbers, lamb prices continued to track at a steady pace as more supplementary-fed lambs take the place of grass-finished stock. Shorter skinned supplementary-fed lambs and lambs finished on lucerne attracted the best competition. All major export and domestic processors operated fully due to concerns of tightening supplies should heavy rain eventuate over the weekend.

Well-finished supplementary-fed trade lambs ignited the bidding, while drier types were also keenly sought. Generally trade lambs were unchanged to $2 dearer, making 518-530c/kg cwt. Restockers and southern export processors had the greatest influence over the lighter weight categories, with lambs sold to slaughter making around 550c/kg.

Well-bred lambs benefited from increased producer competition, both locally and from interstate, as some understocked producers reacted to the forthcoming rain. Lambs with weight and frame sold up to $6 dearer at $87-$116. Merino trade lambs were keenly sought, making from $98-$137.20.

Heavy and extra heavy lamb numbers increased significantly and price trends were robust from the start of the sale. Heavy lambs sold from $136-$146, to average 511c/kg. Increased interest and stronger bidding pushed extra heavy lamb prices a few dollars higher. The better finished and heavier pens made $165-$195.

The mixed quality offering comprised sheep of all weights and grades. Demand strengthened over heavy weight categories, with prices $17-$39 dearer, with heavy crossbred ewes topping at $147.20-average 400c/kg. Trade sheep sold to spirited bidding at $66-$116, averaging 320-380c/kg. Plain light weight ewes sold from $53-$68.

Hamilton’s medium trade and heavy lambs sell $5-$10 higher

In Victoria at the Hamilton saleyards, the agents yarded 4439 lambs, 1715 fewer than last week, and 2954 sheep, 245 less.

The NLRS said lamb and sheep numbers declined after the recent rains of around 50mm in the district. Lamb quality varied from good to fair, with less weight on average.

A near-regular following of buyers attended with greater demand to fill orders. More competition came from domestic processors needing numbers.

As with last week, processors and restockers were strong for lighter weights as they remained firm, with very light lambs at times $20 dearer. Medium and heavy lamb prices jumped $5-$10 higher.

Local and Naracoorte restockers paid $24-$80 for lambs, but found it difficult to compete against the processors for numbers. There was also some activity from the local restockers paying $51 for Merino lambs and $59 for light Merino wethers.

Light 2 score lambs made $68-$100 and light trade weight 2-3 scores sold for $90-$109, averaging 560c/kg cwt. Medium trade 3 score lambs sold from $110-$133 and heavier drafts of 3 and 4 scores made $136-$154, or 527-571c/kg, averaging close to 550c/kg .

The mixed offering of sheep included good lines of crossbred ewes and Merino wethers, and very light weights. Light sheep sold firm to dearer and the medium and heavy weights were $4-$6 dearer. A large percentage of the sheep were 1 and 2 scores that sold from $32-$64. Medium 2-3 scores made $65-$95, averaging an estimated 330c/kg cwt, or mostly ranging from 288-348c/kg. The heavier 3 and 4 score export mutton sold from $79-$104 to average close to 300c/kg. Medium weight 2 and 3 score Merino wethers sold from $67-$96, with some better 3 score pens making $104-$109, or 330-340c/kg. Rams sold from $40-$74 and the best of the hoggets made $75-$105.

Horsham lambs $2-$5 dearer

At the Horsham saleyards, the agents yarded 4846 lambs, 261 more than last week, and 1160 sheep, 173 more.

The NLRS said most of the regular buyers operated in the generally dearer market.

Lambs sold $2-$5 dearer. Heavy lambs were in limited numbers and reached a top of $166. The better trade weights sold from $127-$138.50 or around 540c/kg cwt.

Heavy Merino lambs in a big skin sold to $117.50 and heavy shorter fleece lambs made to $128. Restocker activity was limited, but they paid to $98 for lambs.

Light weight 2 score lambs sold from $78-$84.50. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs made $86-$115 and averaged around 535c/kg. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $113-$131 and heavier drafts made $127-$138.50, or 505-570c/kg, to average around 540c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $141-$166 and the few pens of extra heavy lambs made to $160 or around 500c/kg. Heavy hoggets sold from $84-$120.

The sheep yarding included all weights which mostly sold to a dearer trend. Crossbred sheep were up to $10 dearer than on last week. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $51-$72. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep made $60.50-$90, or 290-340c/kg cwt. Merino mutton averaged around 335c/kg. Heavy 3-5 score sheep sold from $80-$105. Heavy Merino wethers sold from $79-$110 and the medium weights made to $78, averaging around 340c/kg. Rams of all weights sold from $42-$79.

Ouyen lambs up to $10 dearer

At the Ouyen Livestock Exchange on Thursday, the agents offered 5383 lambs and 2102 mutton sheep.

These sold to stronger demand with prices for lambs firm to $10 dearer and mutton rates $5-$10 dearer.

Export weight crossbred lambs sold from $140-$178, or 480-510c/kg, trade weights made $114-$140, or 530-560c/kg, and store lambs made $72-$118, or 520-560c/kg. Light Merino lambs sold from $59.60-$110, or 460-500c/kg, and the heavy lines made $118- $132.60, or 490-500c/kg.

Light sheep sold to the trade for $56-$97.60, or 300-390c/kg, and heavy lines made $84-$120, or 300-350c/kg.

Katanning’s heavy lambs sell to $110

In Western Australia at the Katanning saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 8500 lambs, 3800 more than last week, and 8035 sheep, 1175 fewer.

The NLRS said light weight lambs sold from $50-$82, trade weight crossbred lambs made $97-$107, and Merino lambs sold to $98.

Heavy weight lambs sold from $105-$110. Light weight store crossbred lambs sold to restockers and feeders made from $40 for the light weights, and almost finished and large framed lambs sold to $100. Lambs suitable for airfreight sold from $60-$83. Merino store lambs made $37-$82.

Light plain young Merino ewes sold from $40 and better quality ewes made up to $88. Light ewes with a fleece made $49-$57. Boner ewes with a fleece made $48-$85 and the better 3 score lines with wool sold from $75-$95.

Wethers sold from $90-$97. Young wethers sold to $108. Young rams sold from $34-$87 to restockers. Processors paid to $58 for young rams and old rams made $5-$20.

Warwick’s sheep and lamb rates firm

In Queensland at the Warwick saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded Warwick Selling Agents yarded 1291 lambs and hoggets, and 264 sheep.

The market was quoted firm on last week’s rates for the smaller yarding of sheep and lambs.

The top-priced line of 53kg lwt lambs made $126 for Meandarra producer G.R. and M.P. Cover of ‘Cooroorah’ and other very small extra heavy lots up to 65kg lwt sold for $137-$141.

Crossbred lambs 51-55kg lwt sold for $109-$131, the 46-50kg lambs made $116-$127, 41-45kg lines sold for $90-$117 and 35-40kg lambs made $81-$92.

Shorn crossbred hoggets 70kg lwt sold to $99. Light wethers with $6 skins sold to $51, or 295c/kg cwt. Heavy crossbred ewes with $5 skins made to $74, or 310c/kg, and light ewes with $3 skins sold to 490c/kg, or 215c/kg.

Source: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.


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