Markets

Lamb prices fall, but indicators hold above 610c/kg for trade and heavy lines

Sheep Central, July 11, 2016
These 8-10 month-old unshorn Merino wethers sold for $95 at Armidale, NSW, on AuctionsPlus last week.

These 8-10 month-old unshorn Merino wethers sold for $95 at Armidale, NSW, on AuctionsPlus last week.

LAMB prices continued to generally fall in saleyards late last week as quality and supplies declined, while online buyers focussed on ewe and ewe/lamb units for sale.

At Cowra trade weight lambs were $3 cheaper and the yarding’s lighter runs of heavy and extra lambs lost $10. At Griffith the trade lambs were $4-$7 easier, but heavy and extra heavy lines were firm to $4 dearer to be a similar cwt price to Cowra, around 616-641c/kg.

The Cowra agents also sold 20.1-22kg cwt new season lambs with $10 skins for $146, or 618c/kg, and 22.1-24kg young lambs with $10 skins for $150, or 609c/kg.

After Friday’s saleyard sales, the National Livestock Reporting Service’s Eastern States Daily Indicators for all the lamb categories were lower except Merinos, which gained 1 cent for the day to 585c/kg, but was 7 cents down for the week.

The indicator losses in all the lamb categories except the Merinos ranged from 24-38c/kg for the week, reflecting the waning quality and interest from buyers. The other lamb ESDIs, their daily and weekly changes were: restocker 576c/kg, down 1 cent daily, down 27c for the week; light 575c/kg, down 4c, down 34c; trade 613c/kg, down 5c, down 31c; heavy 632c/kg, down 4c, down 24c.

The national trade lamb indicator fell 4 cents on Friday to 614c/kg, and the national heavy lamb indicator dropped 5 cents to 632c/kg.

The ESDI for mutton fell 3 cents to 374c/kg on Friday, capping off a 38-cent loss for the week, and the national mutton indice was 4 cents lower on 373c/kg.

Online ewe offerings increase

As lamb yardings decrease in physical saleyards nationally, online selling platform AuctionsPlus is reporting increasing offerings of mainly ewes, and ewes with lambs.

Last week AuctionsPlus offered 29,543 sheep and lambs, 7935 more than the previous week.

Ewes continued to dominate the online listings, with Merino ewes strongly represented. Merino ewe lambs sold to $124 for 539 May-June drop early November shorn Merryville blood lambs from Coonabarabran, NSW. These weighed 39kg lwt and were mostly score 1.

Young Merino ewes averaged $147 and sold to $221 for 180 21-23 month-old mid-March shorn Charinga blood ewes from Wedderburn in Victoria. The 62.4kg lwt were mostly score 3 and scanned 100 percent in lamb to Poll Dorset and White Suffolk rams.

Proven Merino breeders sold to $158.50 for 580 2-5 year-old late March shorn Gum Hill blood ewes scanned 100pc in lamb to Gum Hill Merino rams at Broken Hill, NSW. Older ewes averaged $121 and sold to $152 for 547 5-6 year-old late February shorn Raby blood ewes at Coonamble, NSW. The ewes were scanned 100pc in lamb to Border Leicester rams, weighed 52.1kg lwt and were mostly score 2.

First cross ewes and sold to $279 for 92 4-5 year-old mid-August shorn ewes, 65.5kg lwt and score 1 and 2, with 126 2-3 month-old Poll Dorset lambs, at Goornong, Victoria. Their 106 sisters, 77.6kg lwt and score 3, with 106 lambs, sold for $265.

Lambs dominated the first cross ewe category last week, selling from $101-$214. The top-priced lambs, a line of 150 May-June drop unshorn lambs at Calivil, Victoria, weighed 52.3kg lwt, were mostly score 3, and scanned in lamb 100pc to White Suffolk rams. A line of 378 mid-November shorn three year-old first cross ewes at Ararat in Victoria made $193. These ewes were scanned 139pc in lambs to Poll Dorset and composite sires, and weighed 63.8kg lwt and were mostly score 2.

Other notable ewe lines included $160 for 290 five year-old mid-August shorn Samm ewes at Wagga that were scanned in lamb 100pc to Poll Dorset rams. They weighed 62.6kg lwt and were mostly score 3.

At Yass in NSW, a small line of 76 22-34 month-old Aussie White-Dorper cross ewes scanned in lamb 100pc to Aussie White sires sold for $140. A line of 200 11-12 month-old late November shorn Lambpro composite ewes scanned in lamb 100pc to Lambpro sires sold for $162. At Tatyoon in Victoria, 180 5-6 year-old late-June shorn White Suffolk cross ewes scanned in lamb 176pc to White Suffolk rams sold for $175.

AuctionsPlus sold a range of Merino lambs and grown wethers last week. The lambs sold from $57-$95, with a line of 380 8-10 month-old unshorn Greenway and Merryville blood lambs at Armidale, NSW, weighing 13.3kg cwt making the top price.

Grown Merino wethers sold from $92 up to $115 for 600 3-7 year old, 47.3kg lwt mid-August shorn Malwa blood wethers at Breadalbane, NSW.

Store lambs weighing 29-31kg lwt5 made $80-$100 last week, averaging $88 or 323c/kg, including skin value. The 33-36kg lambs made $98-$109.50 to average $103 or 295c/kg, and the 40-41kg lines sold for $120-$123 to average $121 or 297c/kg.

Cowra trade lambs $3 cheaper

In New South Wales at the Corowa saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 4450 lambs, 3550 fewer than last week, and 470 sheep, 240 less.

The NLRS said with considerable rain around the district, numbers fell and quality was good in the handy run of extra heavy and well-finished heavy lambs. The trade and lighter grade lambs tended to be of mixed quality. There was only a limited number of store lambs.

All the usual buyers operated, except one. Competition was sound resulting in a cheaper trend for the trade lambs and firm to slightly dearer for the heavy weights.

Light lambs sold to local restockers averaged $82. Medium and heavy trade weights were around $3 cheaper and averaged 605-620c/kg cwt. Most of the heavy trade weights sold from $135-$150. Heavy and extra heavy lambs were firm to $4 dearer at 620-640c/kg. A few pens of extra heavy weight lambs sold from $190-$203.50.

The sheep market was difficult to quote and quality was very mixed. Medium Merino ewes averaged $84 or 360c/kg. Heavy first cross ewes sold from $92-$117.

Griffith’s heavy and extra heavy lambs drop $10

At the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 5300 lambs, 7300 fewer than last week, and 1500 sheep, 500 less.

The NLRS said lamb quality was very mixed, with some good lines of supplementary-fed lambs and the plainer types. A larger percentage of Merino lambs was penned. Most of the usual buyers competed in a cheaper market.

Light lambs slipped $7 to $109-$121. Trade weights were $4-$7 easier at $124-$149. Heavy and extra heavy weight lambs were $10 easier and weighed less on average. Heavy lambs sold from $148-$170 and extra heavies made $156-$215. Carcase prices averaged 616-641c/kg. Merino lambs sold from $124-$175.

Sheep quality was very mixed. Prices remained fair, with Merino ewes selling from $75-$150. Crossbred ewes made $94-$148 and Dorper ewes sold from $88-$100. Merino wethers sold to $128.

Sources: NLRS, MLA, AuctionsPlus.

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