Most southern saleyard centres are now at or past their peak throughput levels for the year and quality and weight in lambs continues to decline with the season.
After Thursday’s saleyard sales, the NLRS quoted the Eastern States Daily Trade Lamb Indicator as unchanged at 510c/kg and the heavy lamb indice at 521c/kg, up four cents. The other ES daily lamb indicators are: restocker, 509c/kg, up 11 cents; Merino, 441c/kg, no change and; light, 480c/kg, up 3 cents. The ES mutton indicator is at 312xc/kg, up 3 cents.
The national trade lamb indicator was also unchanged at 512c/kg, but the heavy lamb indice was up 3 cents to 522c/kg and mutton was at 313c/kg, also up 3 cents.
NSW over the hooks rates lift
In NSW, the NLRS said OTH lamb rates lifted this week, reaching up to 530c/kg cwt. Most contributors are trying to secure supplies as the Christmas period approaches. Mutton rates remain unchanged week-on-week.
The average NSW OTH rates for 2-4 score lambs are: 18-20kg, 496c/kg cwt, up 12 cents; 20-22kg, 500c/kg, up 12c; 22-24kg, 501c/kg, up 13c; 24-26kg, 496c/kg, up 9c; 26kg+, 494c/kg, up 12c; Merinos 16-22kg, 438c/kg, up 14c. The mutton rates are: 14-18kg, 248c/kg, no change; 18-24kg, 286c/kg, nc; 24kg+, 287c/kg, nc.
OTH trade lamb rates at 510c/kg in Victoria
In Victoria, the NLRS said Over-the-hook lamb rates lifted across all categories this week, with trade weight carcases reaching a top of 510c/kg cwt. Mutton rates were also higher overall, with medium weight mutton averaging 270c/kg cwt.
The average Victorian OTH rates for 2-4 score lambs are: 16-18kg, 475c/kg, up 20 cents; 18-20kg, 478c/kg, up 18c; 20-22kg, 486c/kg, up 18c; 22-24kg, 495c/kg, up 23c; 24-26kg, 480c/kg, up 20c; 26kg+, 470c/kg, up 20c; Merinos 16-22kg, 425c/kg, up 20c. The mutton rates are: 14-18kg, 250c/kg, up 8c; 18-24kg, 270c/kg, up 8c; 24kg+, 268c/kg, up 23c.
SA OTH lamb rates lift 7c/kg
In SA, the NLRS said over-the-hook lamb rates lifted an average of 7c/kg across most categories, with trade weight carcases averaging 503c/kg cwt this week. Mutton rates remained unchanged week-on-week.
The average South Australian OTH rates for 2-4 score lambs are: 16-18kg, 500c/kg, nc; 18-24kg, 503c/kg, up 7c; 24-26kg+, 490c/kg, up 7c; Merinos 16-22kg, 460c/kg, nc. The mutton rates are: 14-18kg, 208c/kg, nc; 18-24kg, 275c/kg, nc.
Most WA OTH rates increase
In WA, the NLRS quoted increases in most OTH lamb and mutton categories. The average WA OTH rates for 2-4 scores lambs are: 16-18kg, 430c/kg, up 5c; 18-22kg, 473c/kg, up 33c; 22-26kg, 480c/kg, up 35c; 26kg+, 457c/kg, up 23c; Merinos 16-22kg, 407c/kg, up 13c. The mutton rates are: 14-18kg, 235c/kg, nc; 18-24kg, 257c/kg, up 7c.
Tasmania’s OTH sheep and lamb rates firm
The NLRS quoted Tasmania’s grid prices for sheep and lambs as unchanged this week. The state’s average rates for 2-4 score lambs are: 0-16kg, 450c/kg; 16-18kg, 460c/kg; 18-20kg, 480c/kg; 20-26kg, 475c/kg; 26kg+, 470c/kg. The sheep rates are: 0-14kg, 270c/kg; 14-24kg, 280c/kg.
Trade and heavy lambs $3-$4 up at Dubbo
In NSW at the Dubbo saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 16,470 lambs, 4160 more than last week, and 12,000 sheep, 2625 more.
The NLRS said the good quality yarding had a good selection of trade and heavy weight lambs. There were also a fair percentage of good quality store lambs and Merinos.
Lightweight lambs sold firm with the 12-18kg 2 scores making $55-$82. Trade lambs sold cheaper initially but gained momentum to finish $1-$3 dearer. The 18-22kg new season lambs sold from $76-$119, to average 502c/kg cwt. Trade weight old lambs sold from $76-$124. Heavy weight lambs were firm to $4 dearer with the over 22kg old lambs selling from $115-$162. The Merino lambs sold $3-$5 cheaper, the trade weights sold from $60-$88 and the heavier weights made to $102. Restockers paid to $90 for lambs and to $120 for first cross ewe lambs. Hoggets sold to $102.
The mixed quality yarding of mutton had some good lines of well-finished sheep and fair numbers of plainer types.
Light and medium weight sheep were $1-$3 cheaper, while the heavier weights were firm. The 2 score ewes sold from $27-$68, while the better 3 and 4 scores sold from $56-$102 for Merinos and to $96 for crossbreds. The 3 and 4 score Merino wethers sold from $64-$105.
Tamworth lambs firm to slightly dearer
At the Tamworth saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 2860 lambs, 90 more than last week, and 1140 sheep, 100 fewer.
The NLRS said the quality of the lambs was very mixed, from plain light Merino lambs through to runs of high quality second cross well-finished lambs. The usual buyers attended.
Well-finished unshorn young lambs to the trade sold firm to slightly dearer. The quality of the lambs suitable to the restockers was down, contributing to cheaper prices.
Price for well-finished old lambs, including a large number of shorn lambs, also experienced little change. The better condition medium and heavy sheep sold to a dearer trend, while the plainer condition light and medium weights were slightly cheaper.
Heavy lambs at Forbes $5 dearer
At the Forbes saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 16,600 lambs, 100 more than last week, and 9350 sheep, 1500 more.
The NLRS said quality was again fair. There were good numbers of well-finished lambs along with the plainer types. Most were heavy and extra heavy lambs. The usual trade buyers and restockers competed in a dearer market.
New season lambs to restockers sold from $75-$100. Trade weights sold from $94-$122 and heavy weights reached $126. Old light lambs made $80-$100. Trade weights averaged $4 dearer, with prices ranged from $95-$123. Heavy and extra heavy lambs were $5 better. Heavy lambs sold from $115-$135 and extra heavy weights ranged from $135-$169. Carcase prices averaged from 510c/kg-536c/kg.
The sheep were mostly Merinos and quality was fair. Prices lifted, with Merino ewes selling from $70-$111. Crossbreds ranged from $75-$111 and Dorper ewes sold from $74-$94. Merino wethers made $70-$108.
Inverell lambs $7-$10 dearer
At the Inverell saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 1892 lambs, 1211 fewer than last week, and 1344 sheep, 362 less.
The NLRS said lamb quality was fairly mixed. Competition was stronger, with most lambs selling $7-$10 dearer, and more in places. Young lambs sold to a top of $137 and old trade lambs made to $126.60. Heavy lambs sold to $155 and the top Dorper lambs made $140.
The mixed yarding of mutton included well-finished ewes and wethers, along with some light plain conditioned sheep. Competition was stronger, with all classes of mutton selling to a stronger market.
Hamilton’s heavy lambs make 520-530c/kg cwt
In Victoria on Monday at the Hamilton saleyards, the agents yarded 20,162 lambs, 2144 more than the previous Monday sale.
The NLRS said lamb quality overall was lower as heavier and better conditioned lines becomes scarcer and more 2 and 3 score lambs come in. Most of the lambs weighed 15-23kg cwt, with only about 20 pens above 24kg cwt. All the usual buyers attended, though one who purchases heavier export and trade weight lambs did not operate fully at times. Not as many restockers were present, but they provided a good base in the market for the keenly sought-after lighter lambs.
The sale started strongly and was dearer in all weight ranges, but tailed off towards the end. The light 1 and 2 score lambs and the light trade 2 and 3 score lines were firm early but came back to $2-$3 cheaper. Buyers came from South Australia, Swan Hill, Horsham, Nathalia and local areas.
Light 1 and 2 score lambs made $46-$86. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $75-$97, making 450c/kg-500c/kg cwt, to average 470c/kg cwt. Medium 3 score trade lambs also sold firm on last week. There was more demand for the better quality lambs in this range and especially for the heavier trade 3 and 4 score and extra heavy 4 score export lambs, with these being $2-$3 dearer week-on-week. The medium trade weights were mostly 3 scores and sold from $91-$129. The heavy trade 4 scores made from $125-$141, or from 500c/kg-530c/kg cwt with an estimated average of 515c/kg cwt. Heavy export lambs made from $138-$156 to again average around 520c/kg cwt.
Young shorn lambs 530-550c/kg cwt at Bendigo
At the Bendigo saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 14,266 lambs, 574 fewer than last week, and 10,400 sheep, 4161 more.
The NLRS said the market continued to gain momentum for lamb and mutton, with most classes of stock selling to dearer prices. The lamb yarding was mixed, with only limited numbers of heavy and well-conditioned pens. Buyers showed a preference for shorn young lambs and most sales were $5-$8 dearer. Light weight store lambs were also significantly dearer in places.
The general run of unshorn young lambs sold for slaughter was mostly firm to $2 dearer. The market reached a top of $163.60 for shorn young lambs with an estimated carcase weight of 29-30kg. It was one of just two sales over $160 and sales over $145 were fairly limited.
Restockers from Yea, Finley and the local Bendigo area competed keenly for lightweight young lambs which gained up to $8 and more in places. Store lambs weighing 12-16kg cwt averaged over $80 and only very small or secondary bred lambs sold for less than $75. The middle drafts of domestic slaughter lambs sold from $90-$118. Most of the lead drafts of shorn young lambs sold from $125-$145 to export and domestic competition at estimated around 530c/kg-550c/kg cwt. The best of the longer wool young lambs sold to $143.80, but there were only a few sales over $135.
More cull ewes were yarded and competition for mutton was strong, with an additional NSW processor. A run of Merino wethers sold to $106 and averaging nearly 350c/kg cwt. The good selection of first cross ewes sold dearer, averaging over 300c/kg cwt, with most sales from $88-$98 and odd extra heavy pens to $108. The better quality slaughter sheep were estimated at 310c/kg-350c/kg cwt.
Heavy trade weight lambs to 552c/kg cwt at Dublin
At the SA Livestock Exchange at Dublin, the agents yarded 7000 lambs, 2272 more than last week, and 4000 sheep, 852 more.
The very mixed quality yarding of crossbred and Merino lambs sold to strong competition from the usual local and interstate trade and processor buyers. Feeder and restocker buyers from SA’s mid-North and Yorke Peninsula areas were very keen to secure numbers and the prices for shorn light weight crossbreds lifted significantly.
Ultra-light weight crossbred lambs to feeders lifted $11, selling from $35-$86, light weights lifted $10 to $65-$92, and some heavier 3 scores to feed on made $108-$112. Light weight 3 score crossbreds to trade buyers lifted $4, selling from $110-$115 and averaged 541c/kg cwt. Light trade weight 3 score lambs remained unchanged, selling from $105-$120 and averaging 504c/kg and heavy trade weight 4 scores lifted $4 to $125-$140 or around 552c/kg cwt.
Heavy weight lambs lifted $4, selling from $137-$150 and averaging 549c/kg cwt, and extreme heavy weights sold up to $167. Light weight 2 score Merino lambs sold to restockers from $42-$60, heavy trade and heavy weight 3 scores lifted $4 to $90-$105 or around 433c/kg-453c/kg cwt. Hoggets were plentiful, with heavy weight Merinos making from $86-$96 and crossbreds selling from $94-$104.
The generally good quality yarding of sheep sold to strong processor bidding and restockers bought ewes up to $86 and wethers from $65-$79. Light weight 2 score ewes lifted marginally, selling from $50-$76 to average 265c/kg cwt. Heavy weight 3 score sheep were in demand and prices lifted as much as $9 in patches, selling from $65-$96 or 230c/kg-293c/kg cwt. Heavy weight wethers eased $3, selling from $80-$95, to average 281c/kg cwt. Heavy weight rams sold for $40-$61.
Naracoorte lambs sell to $146
At the Naracoorte saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 3600 lambs, 184 more than last week, and 4395 sheep, 2131 more.
The NLRS said there was strong competition for sheep and lambs, with more buyers. These orders included an extra restocker order for lambs and an additional processor bidding on suitable lines of medium weight ewes, plus some restockers on selected crossbred ewes to turn-out.
Light lambs jumped in price by up to $10 as the trade paid $65-$102 and restockers competed from $45-$102. Light weight trade 2 and 3 score lambs also rose but only by a marginal $2 as the trade paid $91-$97 and restockers were active from $56-$106. Large numbers of shorn lambs were offered. Trade weight 3 score lambs were firm at 500c/kg cwt, from $96-$118, and there was a small restocker presence at $99-$106. Only limited numbers of heavier lambs came forward and these sold from $100-$118. A high of $146 was reached for a pen of heavy shorn lambs.
The increased number of ewes consisted of large numbers of good weighted types, with an extra buyer active. Despite this, prices fell by as much as $5. Light weight 1 and 2 score ewes sold from $35-$66, while the medium weights ranged from $64-$85 at an average of 330c/kg cwt. Heavy 4 and 5 score ewes returned between $84-$96. There were several pens of ewes suitable for restockers to turn out and these sold from $83-$113. More wethers were offered and lighter types sold from $59-$66, with the heavier end making $86-$103. The few rams offered sold from $12-$37.
Strong demand at Muchea
In WA on Tuesday at the Muchea saleyards, the agents yarded 7246 lambs, 1536 more than last week, and 8500 sheep, 1000 more.
The NLRS said there were only small numbers of very light crossbred and Merino drafts. Competition from a full buyer field kept prices strong and consistent across the yarding, with all categories very close to firm. Processors widened their purchases to secure adequate numbers.
Very light and store lambs were firm and sold from $35-$64. Light lambs to processors, feeders and live export made $60-$95 to also remain firm. Trade weight lambs made $87-$117 or around 500c/kg cwt to be equal to last week. Heavy lambs sold from $110-$122.50.
The quality of the ewe supply improved on the previous sale, with fewer very light conditioned drafts. Ewe prices remained strong and the improved quality lifted average prices slightly. Light ewes made $35-$57 and were close to equal week-on-week, while 2 score ewes to processors made $45-$70 for a $64 average, up $1. Better conditioned 3 and 4 score ewes made $63-$87 to be $2 dearer. Crossbred ewes made from $45-$90 and were up to $4 dearer. Restockers were active on suitable drafts, with most sales firm to $2 dearer at from $43 up to $94.50 for a longer wool heavy weight draft.
Wether prices remained firm to dearer with solid live export competition. Heavy weight wethers were firm, with live export drafts from $85-$97 and extra heavy drafts to processors made to a top of $110. Lighter weight and store wethers made from $65-$88, with most up by more than $3. Ram sales were also solid, with ram lambs making $70-$98 and young rams going for live export and feeding on selling from $45-$77. Old rams to processors made $20-$50.
Source: MLA, NLRS