LAMB prices averaged slightly lower in saleyards mid-week, although rates were higher in centres with fewer numbers due to continuing wet weather conditions.
Restocker interest continues to be strong, with light lambs 12.1-18kg cwt at times making more than 700c/kg to be returned to the paddock.
In New South Wales, light 12.1-18kg new season lambs with skins valued at up to $9 made $83-$125, or 5280-792c/kg. Light and medium trade young lambs with skins worth up to $9 made $111-$156, or 514-705c/kg, as the first cross breeders sold off wether drafts. Heavy trade lambs, 22.1-24kg, with skins valued at up to $9 made $134-$164, or 547-674c/kg. Heavy new season lambs with $5-$9 skins sold for $140-$182, or 535-660c/kg.
In Victoria, light 12.1-18kg new season lambs with $3-$6 skins made $74-$199, or 542-680c/kg. The young 18.1-22kg trade lambs with skins worth up to $7 sold from $114-$147, or 555-645c/kg. The 22.1-24kg new season trade lambs with $6-$8 skins made $134-$160, or 549-638c/kg. Heavy young lambs over 24kg with $7-$8 skins made $142-$184, or 505-637c/kg.
In South Australia, the light young lambs with $1-$6 skins sold from $68-$120, or 467-686c/kg. Light and medium trade new season lambs with $1-$7 skins made $100-$145, or 475-658c/kg. Heavy trade young lambs with $1-$7 skins sold for $122-$155, or 521-617c/kg. Heavy young export lambs with $2-$8 skins made $138-$174, or 519-620c/kg.
Over-the-hook rates hold firm
The National Livestock Reporting Service said o New South Wale’s over-the-hook lamb rates remained steady week-on-week, as wet conditions across the state limit supply. Light trade rates were 500-610c/kg and all other 2-4 score crossbred lambs ranged from 530-600c/kg. Mutton rates across all weight ranges are unchanged.
In Victoria, with rain continuing across the state, The NLRS said lamb and sheep over-the-hook indicators were unchanged on week-ago levels. Trade weight lamb indicators averaged 617c/kg cwt and medium weight mutton averaged 367c/kg cwt.
In South Australia, the NLRS said sheep and lamb over-the-hook indicators were steady week-on-week. Trade weight lamb indicators averaged 555c/kg cwt and medium weight mutton averaged 344c/kg cwt.
Over-the-hook rates for sheep and lambs in Western Australia and Tasmania were also unchanged.
NLRS mutton indicators improve
After Tuesday’s saleyard sales, the Eastern States Daily Indicators for lamb were: restocker 6343c/kg, down 32 cents; Merino 537c/kg, down 5c; light 593c/kg, down 2c; trade 612c/kg, down 2c; heavy 601c/kg, down 6c. The national trade lambs indicator lost 2 cents to 613c/kg and the heavy indice was down 7 cents to 600c/kg.
The ESDI for mutton rose 4 cents to 400c/kg and the national mutton indicator was 6 cents higher at 398c/kg.
Dubbo’s trade lambs lift $8-$10
In New South Wales at the Dubbo saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 15,000 lambs, 7000 fewer than last week, and 2300 sheep, 2850 less.
The NLRS said due to at least 20mm of weekend rain, numbers almost halved on the expected draw. The good quality yarding has a good number of new season lambs in good condition and some well-finished old lambs. Merino lambs were also well-supplied.
Light weight lambs sold $6 dearer to processors, with the 12-18kg 2 scores making $67-$115. Trade lambs were $8-$10 dearer, with the 18-23kg new season lambs selling from $122-$160, or mostly 640-660c/kg cwt. Trade weight old lambs sold from $109-$152. Heavy weight lambs were $9 dearer, with the over 22kg 4 scores selling from $145-$190. Heavy weight new season lambs sold to $177. Merino lambs were $10-$14 dearer, with the trade weights making $115-$148 and heavy weights selling to $155. Hoggets sold to $134.
Most grades of sheep sold $5 dearer in the fair to good quality yarding. The 2 score ewes sold from $66-$90. The better 3 and 4 score crossbred ewes sold from $88-$124 and the Merinos made to $134. Woolly Merino wethers sold to $137.
Corowa’s new season lambs $10-$15 cheaper
At the Corowa saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 12,600 lambs, 6000 more than last week, and 3000 sheep, 300 more.
The NLRS said the lamb yarding increased due to the upcoming public holiday and included 9300 new season lambs. Quality and yield continue to improve. All major domestic buyers attended and competition was especially strong on the extra heavy lambs in the fluctuating cheaper market.
New season lambs sold $10-$15 cheaper. Light trade weight lambs sold from $120-$129, medium trades made $124-$140 and the heavy trade lambs sold for $135-$160, averaging 583c/kg. Heavy lambs sold from $148-$165 and the extra heavies made $164-$182. A single restocker from Stawell underpinned the lighter lambs.
Old trade lamb prices fell by $15-$20 to $107-$130 and extra heavies made $134-$180.
It was a mixed quality offering of sheep and the usual buyers competed strongly. Heavy weight crossbred ewes made to $140 and Merino ewes sold to $140. Wethers sold to $138 and were back $10-$15. Hoggets sold to $128.
Tamworth’s young lambs sell close to firm
At the Tamworth sale yards on Monday, the agents yarded 3500 lambs, 1000 more than last week, and 500 sheep.
The NLRS said with the ground drying out marginally, lamb consignments increased, though sheep supplies remained the same. The quality of the lambs was fair to very good.
New season young lambs were well-represented and there were some very good extra heavy weight old lambs. The usual buyers attended.
New season lambs sold close to firm, with domestic orders showing a preference for the younger lambs. Restockers were active on the lighter weights. Market trends were generally cheaper in the old lambs, with the plainer quality and unfinished lambs most affected.
There was a reasonably firm market trend for sheep, with the well-finished sheep making close to 400c/kg cwt.
Forbes trade lambs $4-$8 easier
At the Forbes saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 22,450 lambs, 2200 more than last week, and 5650 sheep, 350 fewer.
Despite widespread flooding, numbers remained fairly similar this sale. Agents yarded 12,950 fair quality new season lambs. There was a good offering of fresh, well-finished lambs and the plainer types. The usual buyers competed in a cheaper market.
Light new season lambs slipped $4-$6 to $116-$125. Trade weights were $4-$8 easier at $124-$156. Heavy and extra heavyweights were also $6-$8 easier. Heavy lambs sold from $153-$156 and extra heavies made $164-$180. Carcase prices averaged from 628-647c/kg.
Old light lambs sold from $100-$123. Trade weights made $118-$142. Heavy and extra heavyweight lambs sold for 146-$188.
The sheep were mostly Merinos and quality was again very mixed. Prices were again very strong, with Merino ewes selling from $80-$124 and crossbreds making $78-$130. Merino wethers sold from $86-$120.
Inverell trade lambs dearer
At the Inverell saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 3240 lambs, 462 fewer than two weeks ago, and 1010 sheep, 75 less.
The NLRS said lamb quality was mostly good. Heavy weights were well-supplied.
The single pen of new season heavy trade lambs sold firm on the previous sale. Medium weight trade weight old lambs and plainer lambs sold to dearer trends, due to strong competition between buyers. Heavy trade weights remained close to firm. Heavy old lambs were $3 cheaper, with the extra heavy weights showing greater price reductions.
Well-finished sheep sold firm and plainer condition lots were slightly dearer.
Bendigo’s young medium trade lambs lift $2-$6
In Victoria at the Bendigo saleyards, the agents yarded 16,849 lambs, 543 more than last week, and 6304 sheep, 2275 more.
The NLRS said wet conditions continue to restrict transport in some areas. The favourable season is starting to reflect in the improving condition of young lambs, with most in score 3 and 4 condition and weighing over 21kg cwt. All the regular buyers attended, though some were reluctant to go the pace and didn’t buy many.
Prices were similar to slightly easier for the heaviest young slaughter lambs. Medium and light weight pens generally gained $2-$6. Prices reached a top of $184 for heavy export young lambs, with just two pens over $180. A run of about 25 heavy young lamb lots weighing 25-28kg cwt sold for $165-$178.
The main drafts of quality trade weight lambs sold from $136-$162 and the best 24-26kg heavy lambs averaged about $154. Neatly presented medium trade lambs, 20-22kg, recorded some of the best price gains in the market, making $124-$144. On a carcase basis, trade lambs sold up to 640c/kg, with most weights and grades making 580-605c/kg.
The supply of light weight and store lambs remained very limited. Some Ballarat restockers paid $121-$134 for bigger-framed and heavier lambs. The few light weight lambs under 18kg mostly sold dearer at $90-$118.
The sheep yarding exceeded 6000 head for the first time this spring. Most of the offering comprised recently shorn Merino and crossbred ewes, with more weight and fat cover due to abundant feed.
Mutton prices were firm to a few dollars dearer, despite not all the regular export companies operating. Heavy first cross ewes, some showing plenty of weight, sold from $106-$140. The main runs of heavy Merino ewes in short skins sold from $98-$128. The lighter trade weight Merino mutton made from $77-$107. On a carcase basis, the good lines of Merino mutton continued to trend over 400c/kg.
Strong restocker competition at Ballarat
At the Ballarat saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 11,821 lambs, 543 more than last week, and 6304 sheep, 2275 more.
The NLRS said the new season lamb offering lifted and quality improved. The yarding was mostly trade weights and there were more heavy lambs. The usual buyers operated in the overall firm market.
Heavy and medium weight young lambs sold close to firm. Light lambs sold $1-$2 cheaper to processors. There was stronger restocker competition for light lambs at mostly $79-$118. Local store buyers also paid $41-$80 for old lambs.
Less old lambs were penned this week, with heavier weights selling from $137-$157 and medium trade weights $105-$128, to be $3-$5 cheaper. The better covered hoggets sold from $100-$133.
Light weight 2 score new season lambs sold to processors for $83-$106. Light 2 and 3 score new season trade lambs made $106-$118, averaging 615c/kg. Medium trade weights, 3 and 4 score, sold from $120-$147. Heavier drafts made $146-$160, or 590-645c/kg, averaging an estimated 620c/kg. Heavier 3 and 4 score young lambs sold from $154-$168.
All grades and weights of sheep were offered. Prices were generally $3-$6 dearer and up to $10 higher for some light weight sheep. The light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $52-$82. Medium trade weight sheep 2 and 3 score made $77-$104. Woolly ewes sold to $116 at 360-450c/kg. Merino ewe mutton averaged 425c/kg.
Heavy 3-4 score crossbred sheep sold from $100-$142, and medium to heavy Merino wethers, 3 and 4 score, made $104-$134 at close to 425c/kg. Local restockers paid $116 for crossbred ewes and $82-$123 for woolly Merino ewes. Rams of all breeds sold from $50-$105.
Dublin lamb prices fall $4-$10
At the South Australia Livestock Exchange at Dublin on Tuesday, the agents yarded 12.080 lambs, 3305 more than last week, and 4622 sheep, 1646 more.
The NLRS said there fewer trade and processor buyers, but several restocker orders seeking lambs. Quality fell slightly, with the new season lambs lacking the weight and condition of last week.
Lamb prices dropped $4-$10. Light lambs sold to the trade for $60-$112 and restockers paid $58-$110. Light weight trade 2 and 3 score lambs made $94-$120, with some restocker activity to $118. Trade weight 3 score lambs sold from $112-$145, or 575c/kg. Heavy new season lambs made $125-$164.
Light old lambs made $54-$105, trade weight 3 score types sold from $102-$144 and the few heavy lambs sold for $118-$140.
Some excellent quality heavy weight sheep were offered. Light weight hoggets sold from $80-$102, medium weights made $104-$132 and heavy types sold to $160. Light weight ewes made $37-$65, the medium types sold from $60-$92 and the heavy weight drafts made $70-$116. A top price of $132 was paid by a restocker. Light weight wethers sold from $85-$90 and heavier types made mainly $100-$140, Rams sold from $60-$98.
Naracoorte lamb prices ease
At the Naracoorte saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 6038 lambs, 2670 more than last week, and 2089 sheep, 190 more.
The NLRS said mostly new season lambs were yarded and quality was good. The usual buyers plus some extra domestic competition operated in an easier market.
Trade weight young lambs sold $2-$8 lower than last week, while the heavier export lambs remained close to firm. Heavy new season young lambs sold to $174. Keen Ballarat restockers paid from $118-$129.50, and from $93-$120 for lighter lots.
Light weight 2 score lambs sold from $80-$100. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs made $96-$128, averaging around 590c/kg. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $125-$155 at 550-620c/kg, to average around 585c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $152-$174 and averaged around 600c/kg. Heavy old lambs made $111-$122 and heavy hoggets sold to $120.
All weights and grades of sheep were offered and sold to strong demand to be generally $5-$10 dearer, and more in places. Heavy Merino ewes sold to $125. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $63-$85. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep made $91-$112. Merino mutton averaged around 440c/kg. Heavy Merino ewes sold from $107-$125 and heavy crossbred sheep made $101-$132.
Exporters lift wether lamb prices sat Muchea
In Western Australia at the Muchea saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 4300 lambs, 414 fewer than last week, and 3852 sheep, 1792 more.
The NLRS said the fair quality yarding included mostly light weight new seasons lambs. All the usual buyers attended, but not all operated with solid direct-to-works supply available.
Solid live export activity on wether lambs and wethers lifted the lighter and store end of the lamb market, but trade and heavy weight lamb prices eased again. Light new season lambs sold to air freight processors and live exporters lifted by $5-$10 to make $70-$90. Trade weight lambs sold from $90-$103, back $3-$4. Heavy new season lambs were close to $5 cheaper at $97-$109, with making close to 430c/kg. Old season lambs eased $4-$5.
Ewe and wether numbers eased on last week and the ewes were lighter. Ewe prices were back around $5 to processors, partially due to lighter weights, and restockers were active on younger drafts. Light weight ewes made $40-$58 and medium weight processor drafts sold from $50-$78 to be close to $9 cheaper and around 270c/kg. Heavy weight drafts made $65-$78, also $5 easier.
Restockers purchased a solid number of ewes for $55-$89 and most were better quality and dearer than last week. The firm to marginally higher wether prices were driven by export demand. Heavy export wethers made $95-$119 and lighter drafts sold from $80-$100, both firm to $5 dearer. Lighter and store drafts sold firm to restockers at $52-$101. Ram lambs made $75-$89. Young rams suited to export feeders sold from $45-$89. Old rams sold for $21-$65 to processors.
Tasmanian lamb market stronger
In Tasmania on Tuesday, the agents yarded 375 lambs, 128 fewer than last week, and 275 sheep, 119 less.
The NLRS said the fewer lambs met a stronger market, with heavy weights making $125-$153 and trade weights selling from $106-$134, up to $11 dearer for 3 scores. Lighter weight lambs made $52-$106, with some 16-18kg 2 score lambs $5 easier.
Medium weight wethers sold from $91-$96 and heavy ewes made $74-$96. Restockers paid $48 for light weight 2 score ewes.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.