Domestic Lamb

Lamb and mutton prices rise

Sheep Central November 17, 2014
These 16kg cwt Dorset cross lambs on Flinders Island sold for $77.50 on AuctionsPlus last week.

These 16kg cwt Dorset cross lambs on Flinders Island sold for $77.50 on AuctionsPlus last week.

Lamb and mutton prices edged higher late last week as buyers competed for any quality lines in the saleyard offerings on Friday.

Most saleyards are reporting increasing numbers of dry and store lambs, while demand for heavy mutton is increasing.

The lamb offering reduced in most saleyards on Friday, except at Cowra, and sheep numbers increased, but AuctionsPlus said fewer sheep and lambs were offered online last week.

MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service quoted the Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator at 460c/kg cwt after Friday’s sales, up two cents, and the heavy indice also closed on 460c/kg cwt, up one cent. The ES mutton indicator closed the week unchanged on 312c/kg cwt.

The national lamb and mutton indicators were also either unchanged or up after Friday’s sales. The lamb rates are: restocker 469c/kg cwt, up 2 cents; Merino 377c/kg, up 1c; light 435c/kg, no change; trade 459c/kg, up 2c; heavy 459c/kg, up 1c. The national mutton indicator is at 313c/kg cwt, up one cent.

AuctionsPlus reports declining turn-off

Sheep and lambs marketed on AuctionsPlus reduced by 10,000 to total 47,802 head last week, dominated by store lambs.

AuctionsPlus market operations supervisor Anna Adams said big numbers of store lambs started to roll in from Victoria and SA last week.

“While clearance rates remained on par with recent weeks, prices across most weight categories dropped $3-$5, and up to $10 for heavier lambs,” she said.

Light lambs weighing 26-27kg live made $56-$75, and the 30-31kg lines sold for $60-$70.50. The 33-34kg lambs made $65.50-$74 and the 35-36kg lines sold for $75-$86. The 38-39kg liveweight lambs sold from $77-$86, and the heaviest drafts at 40-42kg made $84-$89. The top price was for June/July drop unshorn second cross lambs weighing 41kg live in Tasmania.

Ms Adams said heavy grown wethers attracted competition from restockers and processors and sold from $74-$83, with the top priced lot being three-year-old wethers out of Victoria weighing 53kg live with a March skin. Merino wether lambs sold from $42-$51 and numbers were well back on last week’s big offering.

Merino ewe prices have been steadily slipping for the past few weeks. A few sales recorded prices from $70-$117. Unjoined four and five-year-old ewes made $67-$90.

Heavy lambs firm to $5 dearer at Cowra

In NSW at the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 10,910 lambs, 1110 more than last week, and 1450 sheep, 250 more.

The NLRS said quality was good in the shorn new season lambs. The yarding comprised mainly trade and heavy weight lambs, but there more lighter lambs showing signs of dryness. Store lambs were in increased numbers. All the buyers were present except for one and competition was generally solid, resulting in a firm market for trade weights and dearer for the heavy grades.

Light lambs to the processors averaged $87.20, while store lambs averaged from $72-$87. Medium and heavy trade weight new season lambs were firm and a little dearer in places and averaged from 464c/kg-470c/kg cwt. The heavy trade weight lambs sold from $104-$110. Heavy weight lambs were firm to $5 dearer and averaged from 449c/kg-458c/kg cwt.

A few pens sold from $130-$140 and topped at $149 with an estimated carcass weight of 31kg.

Mutton numbers increased and quality was good across all grades. Heavy 3 score Merino ewes were $3 dearer and averaged $77, or 295c/kg cwt. Heavy first cross ewes were $2 cheaper and averaged $82, or 261c/kg cwt.

Lambs sell $2-$3 dearer at Griffith

At the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 3500 lambs, 1379 fewer than last week, and 2950 sheep, 193 more.

The NLRS said lamb quality was very mixed, with some large runs of light store lambs offered along with the better-finished types. There were an increased number of shorn new season lambs offered. Most of the usual buyers competed in a firm to slightly dearer market.

Light new season lambs to restockers sold from $40-$65. Light lambs sold from $74-$92. Trade weights were firm to $2 dearer ranging in price from $94-$114. Heavy and extra heavy lambs lifted $3, selling from $121-$124. Carcase prices averaged from 454c/kg-481c/kg cwt.

Old trade weight lambs sold from $83-$103. Heavy weight lambs made $107-$114.

Mutton numbers were made up of mostly Merino ewes and quality continues to be mixed. Prices lifted $3-$5 with Merino ewes selling from $77-$100. Dorper ewes ranged from $62-$83. Crossbred ewes averaged from $85.

Lamb up $5, sheep up $5-$8 at Shepparton

In Victoria at the Shepparton saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 4950 lambs, 50 fewer than last week, and 1950 sheep, 217 more.

The NLRS said quality and weights were mixed with even more lambs showing dryness. There were odd pens of better looking trade and heavy weight lambs and these sold to the best inquiry to be up to $5 higher. The average runs of lambs were fully equal to a little dearer. Restockers were only moderately active on light weight lambs and were restricted to local competition at firm to slightly easier prices. Sheep sold at levels mainly $5-$8 higher. Most of the yarding was ewes of medium to extra heavy weight.

The light weight 2 score lambs sold from $62-$80 with restockers paying from $66-$78. Light trade weight 2 and 3 score lambs made $70-$94 with the few sales to restockers from $83-$89. The 3 score medium to heavy trade weight lambs sold between $86-$115 and mostly ranged from 430c/kg-490c/kg cwt. The better lambs averaged 475c/kg cwt and the plain to good quality were closer to 445c/kg cwt. Heavy 4 score export lambs sold from $111-$129 and averaged 460c/kg cwt. The few extra heavy weight pens made $123-$133 with a pen of 5 scores at $140 and all up they averaged 440c/kg cwt. Heavy weight hoggets sold at $80-$87 with a keenly contested pen at $94.60.

The sheep sale sold to steady demand but at dearer levels, with a run of 2 to 4 score ewes at 290c/kg cwt. The light weight 1 and 2 score ewes made $20-$50 with the medium weight 2 and 3 scores from $62-$82. Most 3 and 4 score ewes and the odd pens of wethers sold from $70-$90. The rams sold from $20-$40, with restockers paying to $58.

Source: NLRS, AuctionsPlus


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