Lamb and mutton prices last Friday finished firm to slightly dearer on the higher rates established during the week.
Although offerings of quality trade lambs are starting to reduce with higher proportion of heavier lines, domestic processors still paid more to secure supplies.
Mutton prices also continued to improve for the reducing offerings, especially for quality heavy sheep and those with valuable skins.
NLRS indicators post big weekly gains
After Friday’s saleyard sales, The National Livestock Reporting Service quoted all its national and Eastern States Daily Indicators for the lamb categories as firm to slightly dearer, though all recorded big gains for the week. Only the mutton indicators were quoted back one cent, with the ES indicator on 399c/kg after a weekly gain of 31 cents, and the national indice closing at 398c/kg.
The ESDIs for lambs with their daily and weekly gains are: restocker 545c/kg, no change, up 26 cents; Merino 511c/kg, up 4c, up 34c; light 541c/kg, up 3c, up 45c; trade 552c/kg, up 2c, up 29c; heavy 558c/kg, up 3c, up 30c. The national trade lamb indicator is at 354c/kg, up 3 cents and the heavy indice is on 560c/kg, up 4 cents.
Rain tightens online offerings
AuctionsPlus market operations officer Anna Adams said sheep and lamb numbers offered online tightened to 39,382, down 3000, after good rain across areas of NSW, Victoria and southern Queensland.
Last week Merino ewe hoggets made $99-$151, with an average of $128, on AuctionsPlus. The highlight of the sale was a quality line of 60kg Harkness and Tintinara blood ewes from Cooke Plains in SA, that were scanned in lamb to White Suffolk sires for a March-April lambing.
Ms Adams said the market for older and mixed aged Merino ewes firmed with sales averaging $96, Ms Adams said. The top line was a mob of 4-5 year-old 62kg lwt Merino ewes from Nyngan NSW, also SIL 163pc for a late May lambing to White Suffolk’s. The early April shorn skin, Combadery blood ewes made $152.
Merino wether lambs made $52.50 to $76. The top price was for a line of wether hoggets, Merryville and Ridgeway blood, with a 5cm skin. Ms Adams said the bidding activity on Merinos with close to full wool can be linked to the strengthening wool market, with the eastern market indicator at its highest point in well over a year at 1153c/kg clean.
Young and proven first cross breeders drew bidding activity with a range of $140-$210. The top line was 143 66kg lwt first cross ewes from Cundare Victoria, SIL 150pc to Poll Dorset rams.
The small supply of store lambs rallied the market with 30-33kg lwt lambs making $84.50-$98.50, up $3 on last week. The heaviest offered, a line of 44kg Border Leicester wether lambs made $121.50 or 276c/kg dressed weight.
Griffith’s heavy lambs up $5-$7
In NSW at the Griffith saleyards last week, the agents yarded 11,200 lambs, 2900 more than last week, and 600 sheep, 1350 fewer.
The NLRS said quality improved slightly. There was a quality run of well-finished, grain-fed heavy and extra heavy weight lambs, along with a few plainer lines. The usual buyers competed in a dearer market.
Light lambs sold from $90-$106. Trade weights were $4 dearer, with prices ranging from $105-$133. There were some handy lines of Merino lambs that made $95-$144. Heavy and extra heavy weight lambs lifted $5-$7. Heavy lambs sold from $132-$145 and extra heavyweights from $144-$204. Carcase prices ranged from 535-570c/kg.
Mutton quality was mixed. Merino ewes sold from $75-$125. Crossbred ewes averaged $110 and Dorper ewes sold from $68-$104.
Cowra’s trade lambs $7-$8 dearer
At the Cowra saleyards last Friday, the agents yarded 6530 lambs, 3530 more than last week, and 900 sheep, 180 fewer.
The NLRS said lamb quality improved with the heavy and trade weights in good condition. There were mainly heavy lambs penned along with a handy supply of trade weights and the odd pen of store lambs suitable for the restockers. All the buyers operated and competition was strong, resulting in a dearer market.
Light lambs to the processors averaged around $100, while store lambs sold from $69-$100. Medium and heavy trade weights were $7-$8 dearer and averaged 564c/kg cwt. Most of the heavy trade weight lambs sold from $118-$136.
Heavy weight lambs sold $10-$16 dearer, from 565-587c/kg cwt. A few pens of extra heavy lambs sold from $190-$204.
Mutton quality was mixed. Medium Merino ewes were dearer and ranged from $70-$82 or 344c/kg cwt. Heavy first cross ewes were $6 dearer and averaged $116.90 or 350c/kg cwt. Wethers sold to $110.
Shepparton lambs sell to $176.60
In Victoria at the Shepparton saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 1530 lambs, 160 more than last week, and 458 sheep, 58 more.
The NLRS said it was a mixed yarding of lambs and sheep, with just a few pens of well-finished supplementary fed lambs available to buyers. The market showed a dearer trend, following the stronger results recorded at other saleyards earlier in the week.
Prices reached a top of $176.60 for a stand-out pen of extra heavy export lambs. The supply of lighter weight slaughter lambs was limited in comparison to recent sales and most sold from $92-$116. Odd pens of very small or plain lambs sold from $18-$66. The better quality pens of trade weight lambs sold from $123-$135, while the heavy lambs over 26kg cwt made from $140-$168, with just the one sale at $176.60. Most quality slaughter lambs sold from 540-570c/kg cwt.
The mutton market showed a dearer trend over the limited number offered. Some pens of heavy crossbred ewes sold from $93-$118.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.