Lamb prices firm to dearer despite yardings increasing with more heavy lambs

Sheep Central, May 18, 2016
These August-September drop early March shorn Suffolk cross lambs, 14.5kg cwt and mostly score 2, sold for $90.50 at Armidale, NSW< on AuctionsPlus yesterday.

These August-September drop early March shorn Suffolk cross lambs, 14.5kg cwt and mostly score 2, sold for $90.50 at Armidale, NSW< on AuctionsPlus yesterday.

LAMBS sold mostly firm to dearer in saleyards early this week, despite larger yardings in response to recent higher prices and increasing live weights on farms and in feedlots.

More quality grain-fed heavy trade and heavy lambs were yarded In New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia with most making 530-600c/kg-plus to domestic and export processors.

Extra heavy 30kg-plus cwt lambs sold to $212 at Ballarat and heavy lambs also made more than $200 at Dubbo, Forbes, Bendigo and Dublin.

The fortnightly sales at Corowa and Deniliquin put another 14,000 lambs on the market and despite bigger yardings at the weekly sales at Dubbo and Tamworth, and 22,200 more lambs at Forbes, rates for well-finished trade and heavy lambs mostly improved.

After Tuesday’s saleyard sales, the National Livestock Reporting Service’s Eastern States Daily Indicator for trade lambs finished firm on 565c/kg and the heavy lamb ESDI rose 2 cents to 561c/kg. The other lamb ESDIs were: restocker 546c/kg, up 4 cents; Merino 520c/kg, no change; light 550c/kg, down 2 cents. The national trade lamb indicator rose 1 cent to 565c/kg and the heavy indice was up 1 cent to 560c/kg.

The ESDI for mutton rose 14 cents to 365 and the national indicator lifted similarly to 364c/kg.

Over-the-hook rates increase for heavy lambs

In New South Wales, the NLRS said there were some upward adjustments to heavier weight lamb over-the-hook categories this week, while trade weights were unchanged. Medium and heavy weight mutton indicators were slightly higher, up an average of 3c/kg cwt.

NSW’s OTH rates for 2-4 score lambs are: 18-20kg, 490-540c/kg, no change; 20-24kg, 500-540c/kg, nc; 24-26kg, 500-530c/kg, up 6 cents; Merinos 16-22kg, 420-500c/kg, nc. The sheep rates are: 14-18kg, 210-320c/kg, nc; 18-24kg, 280-320c/kg, up 3c; 24kg+, 240-320c/kg, up 3c.

In Victoria, the NLRS said most lamb over-the-hook categories moved higher this week, with trade weights averaging 550c/kg cwt. Mutton indicators also increased week-on-week, with medium weights up an average of 8c/kg cwt, to 318c/kg cwt.

Victoria’s OTH rates for 2-4 score lambs are: 16-18kg, 549-560c/kg, up 10c; 18-22kg, 540-560c/kg, up 8c; 22-24kg, 520-550c/kg, up 13c; 24-26kg, 510-540c/kg, up 10c; 26kg+, 510c/kg, nc; Merinos 16-22kg, 520c/kg, up 20c. The sheep rates are: 14-18kg, 280-320c/kg, up 10c; 18-24kg, 300-350c/kg, up 8c; 24kg+, 250-300c/kg, up 6c.

In South Australia, the NLRS said all lamb over-the-hook indicators remained unchanged week-on-week, with trade weights averaging 537c/kg cwt. Mutton indicators were also steady, with medium weights on 298c/kg cwt.

SA’s OTH rates for 2-4 score lambs are: 16-18kg, 530c/kg; 18-24kg, 530-550c/kg; 24-26kg, 510-530c/kg; Merinos 16-22kg, 500c/kg. The sheep rates are: 14-18kg, 230-340c/kg; 18-24kg, 250-340c/kg; 24kg+, 240-320c/kg.

In Tasmania, the NLRS quoted Tasmania’s over-the-hook rates for light lambs as 20c/kg higher this week and 5-10c/kg higher for medium and heavy sheep.

Tasmania’s OTH rates for OTH lambs are: 0-16kg, 510-540c/kg, up 20c; 16-18kg, 500-540c/kg, up 20c; 18-20kg, 490-520c/kg, nc; 20-22kg, 490-510c/kg, nc; 22-24kg, 490-500c/kg, up 5c; 24-26kg+, 480-500c/kg, nc. The sheep rates are: 0-14kg, 260-280c/kg, nc; 14-18kg, 270-300c/kg, nc; 18-24kg, 270-300c/kg, up 5c; 24kg+, 260-290c/kg, up 10c.

Western Australia’s over-the-hook rates were not available when this report was published.

The NLRS said the skin market remained steady this week with contributors leaving lamb and sheep skin quotes unchanged. The lower A$ and tighter supplies are reportedly supporting prices.

Dubbo’s heavy lambs $6-$9 dearer

In New South Wales at the Dubbo saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 34,165 lambs, 4265 more than last week, and 6075 sheep, 1985 fewer.

The NLRS said it was a fair quality yarding with some top heavy weight lambs and a reasonable selection of trade weights. Light weight lambs were also well-supplied.

Light weight lambs sold $4 dearer to processors, with the 2 scores making $58-$109. Trade lambs were $3-$6 dearer, with 3 scores selling from $99-$140, to average around 575c/kg cwt. Heavy weight lambs were $6-$9 dearer, with the over 22kg 4 scores making $129-$207. Merino lambs were $6 dearer, with the trade weights selling from $89-$120 and heavy weights to $148. Limited numbers of lambs went to restockers at up to $110. Crossbred hoggets sold to $125 and heavy weight Merino hoggets in the wool made to $136.

Most grades were represented in a good quality yarding of mutton. The strong market continues, with most grades lifting a further $5-$7. The 2 score ewes sold from $35-$84. The better 3 and 4 score woolly Merinos made $73-$141 and crossbreds sold to $128s. Woolly Merino wethers sold to $135.

Corowa’s heavy lambs $15 dearer

At the Corowa saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 11,800 lambs, 3700 more than last week, and 3000 sheep, 2100 more.

The NLRS said the quality yarding of lambs included mostly trade and heavy weights.

In a very strong market, restocking lambs sold from $70-$96. Light processing lambs were up to $5 dearer at $100-$116. Medium weight trade lambs were firm at $100-$128. Heavy weight trade lambs sold up to $15 dearer at $103-$152, averaging 580c/kg. Heavy lambs were $10 dearer at $134-$168, averaging 560c/kg. Extra heavy weight lambs were up to $15 dearer at up to $185. Sheep quality was good. The 4 score heavy crossbred ewes sold up to $20 dearer to $141. The 4 score heavy Merino ewes made to $123. Crossbred hoggets sold to $128 and Merino wethers over 24kgs cwt with a good skin made to $145.

Quality lifts Tamworth lamb prices

At the Tamworth saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 2100 lambs, 100 more than last week, and 1650 sheep, 50 more.

The NLRS said overall numbers remained steady as seasonal production slows. There was a good supply of well-finished heavy weight lambs in an otherwise very mixed quality penning. The usual buyers attended.

Market trends varied, with restocker lambs selling firm to cheaper. Quality was a factor. Good quality trade weights sold on a firm to dearer market trend, with quality contributing to price increases. Heavy weight lambs sold slightly dearer on a dollar per head basis, but weights were also up a little.

Plainer condition light weight sheep sold cheaper in the very mixed quality penning and the s and firm on the well finished medium and heavy weights. Higher skin prices also contributed to a lift in some prices.

Forbes’ heavy lambs sell firm

At the Forbes saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 31,100 lambs, 22,200 more than last week, and 5800 sheep, 4459 more.

The NLRS said lamb quality improved, with more well-finished and grain-assisted lambs. The usual buyers competed in the fairly steady market.

Light lambs held firm at $106-$114. Trade weights were steady at $110-$144. Heavy and extra heavy weight lambs were well-supplied and held firm. Heavy lambs sold from $132-$156 and extra heavies made $147-$208. Carcase prices mostly ranged from 530-573c/kg. Merino lamb demand was strong at $102-$139.

The sheep were mostly Merinos and quality improved. Merino ewes sold from $74-$138 and crossbreds made $74-$142. Merino wethers sold from $100-$125.

Deniliquin lambs dearer

At the Deniliquin saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 2422 lambs, 529 more than last week, and 1184 sheep, 905 more.

The NLRS said lamb quality remained mixed and the few better quality slaughter lambs had been supplemented on grain. The usual buyers operated in a much dearer market compared to a fortnight ago, with carcase rates matching the strong results of more recent sales held since the rain.

The handful of export lamb pens sold from $153-$175. The best pens of trade weight lambs, score 3 and 4, sold from $130-$148. On a carcase basis, these lead drafts of lambs sold from 540c/kg to nearly 600c/kg. The light weight lamb line-up was mostly plain and included some very small Merino lambs in very light condition, which sold to local agents.

Sheep were dearer in a yarding boosted by some bigger lines of Merino rams. Merino rams in full wool sold to $135. Most of the heavy Merino ewes made $90-$122, or about 365c/kg.

Bendigo’s heavy lambs sell to $204

In Victoria at the Bendigo saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 14,120 lambs, 3471 more than last week, and 2325 sheep, 395 more.

The NLRS said lamb numbers were boosted by big drafts of supplementary-fed lambs, including 1200 head from a Urana property in the Riverina. All the regular buyers attended.

The market was $2-$7 dearer, with bidding mostly seen across export and domestic lambs with decent fat cover. Buyers were more selective on plainer and small mixed lots of lambs which caused some quality related price fluctuations throughout the sale.

There was more weight and quality in the top end of the export lambs this week and prices reached $204 for an impressive draft of second-cross Poll Dorset sired lambs expected to dress at 38kg. The seconds made $196. After this the general run of heavy export lambs sold from $160-$172, with most sales at an estimated 500-530c/kg. The strongest demand was for well-finished lambs weighing 22-26kg cwt suiting domestic orders, with the pick of these making from $135-$155, or 550-570c/kg. The best of the trade weight supplementary-fed Merino lambs sold from $113-$137 at an estimated 530-540c/kg. Plainer lambs lacking finish mostly sold from $85-$120 depending on size, with some of the lighter lines holding firm week-on-week.

The sheep sold dearer, with restockers paying to $124 for woolly Merinos. Heavy crossbred ewes sold from $100-$110.

Ballarat’s top lambs make $212

At the Ballarat saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 24,467 lambs, 8761 more than last week, and 7096 sheep, 2270 more.

The NLRS said the usual buyers operated keenly, with bidding opening strongly and easing slightly in later sales and prices mostly firm to a few dollars dearer.

Quality was again very good, with some excellent, extra heavy lambs making to $212 with an estimated carcase weight of 40kg. Extra heavy lambs also sold to $210. Better covered trade weight lambs made $130-$156 and averaged around 560-570c/kg.

Feeders and restockers were also active and paid from $90-$121 for better lambs and $50-$80 for lighter lots. Light weight 2 score lambs sold from $66-$100. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs made $83-$128 and averaged around 570c/kg. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $119-$136. Heavier trade drafts made $130-$156 or 530-610c/kg, to average around 560-570c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $146-$180 at around 560c/kg and the extra heavy export lambs made $174.20-$212. Heavy hoggets sold from $79-$129. Heavier Merino lambs sold to $110 and the medium weights made $83-$121, averaging around 520c/kg.

The sheep offering included all weights and grades. Not all the regular buyers operated fully, with sheep mostly selling a few dollars better. Merino wethers in a big skin sold up to $10 higher to $127. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $46-$85 and the very light 1 scores made $24-$49. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep sold from $58-$120 or 280-410c/kg. Merino mutton averaged around 365c/kg. Heavy 3-5 score crossbred sheep sold from $76-$127.

Heavy Merino wethers sold from $92-$127 and the medium weights made $76-$125, averaging around 385c/kg. Heavy rams made to $100.

Dublin’s heavy lambs lift $4-$10

At the South Australian Livestock Exchange at Dublin, the agents yarded 10,547 lambs, 547 more than last week, and 2255 sheep, 255 more.

The mixed quality lamb yarding of crossbred and Merino lambs sold to very erratic bidding from the usual local and interstate trade and processor buyers. Feeders and restockers were subdued and operated mainly on the very light weight crossbreds and Merinos.

Light weight 3 score crossbred lambs sold $10 dearer to processors from $92-$120 and averaged 523c/kg. Light trade weight 4 scores attracted solid bidding to be unchanged at $108-$128, or 520c/kg. Heavy trade weights were also fully firm at $112-$144, averaging 530c/kg. Heavy weights were in demand and lifted $4-$10 to $135-$188, or 522-566c/kg. Extreme heavy weights sold from $188-$204.

Light weight Merino lambs sold to feeders and restockers from $45-$66. Light weight Merinos sold to processors eased by up to $15 to $75-$110, or 458-490c/kg. Trade weights remained steady at $102-$122, averaging 469c/kg. Heavy weights sold from $105-$148, or 453-515c/kg. Hoggets were plentiful and heavy weight Merinos sold from $100-$122. Equivalent crossbreds made $108-$122.

A very mixed yarding of sheep sold to easing processor demand. Light weight Merino ewes eased $4 to $71-$82 and averaged 314c/kg. Heavy weight 3 score Merino ewes eased up to $10 to $85-$100 and averaged 290c/kg. The few wethers sold from $80-$114, averaging 339c/kg. Heavy weight rams returned made $90-$105.

Naracoorte’s trade lambs lift $10

At the Naracoorte saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 2158 lambs, 1265 more than last week, and 1001 sheep, 331 more.

The NLRS said more trade and processor buyers were active, along with a small number of restocker orders. Quality lifted, with larger numbers of lambs with good weight and condition that lifted in price.

Light weight lambs were very mixed in quality and sold mainly from $75-$108, a lift of $3. Light weight 2 and 3 score types made $102-$110, a rise of $6. Trade weight 3 score lambs rose by $10 with more in places to $112-$128, at an average of 540c/kg. The increased number of heavy 4 score lambs lifted up to $8 to $125-$148. Extra heavy lambs sold from $150-$165. Hoggets mostly made $85-$110 and a pen of extra heavy Merino wethers with a long fleece sold for $125.

Light weight ewes sold from $47-$70 and medium weight types made $70-$92, at an average of 320c/kg. Heavy ewes lifted $4-$6 to mainly $87-$108. Rams sold from $34-$75.

Muchea lamb prices mostly firm

In Western Australia at the Muchea saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 8260 lambs, 1437 more than last week, and 4548 sheep, 1148 more.

The NLRS said lamb quality was better than last week with more condition and weight. There were more prime lambs and also solid numbers of light and secondary lamb drafts for restockers and feeders. All buyers were present, but one lamb processor was on the sideline, along with live export orders.

Prices started lower, but returned to last week’s levels as the sale progressed. Light store lambs sold close to firm to restockers at $27-$66. The Merino ewe portion was dearer at $27-$62. Light lambs suitable for air freight processors and feed sold for $60-$93, close to $5 cheaper than last week. Trade weight lambs made $75-$111. Lighter conditioned drafts sold to feeders for close to 450c/g and processors bought the better drafts for 470-480c/kg, both back close to $4. Heavy lamb numbers increased and they sold firm at $106-$127.

Mutton supplies were also better than last week with solid numbers of heavy weight ewes. Ewe mutton prices averaged close to equal overall, but there was a lower start to the market. Light weight ewes made $30-$59 and the 2 score processor mutton sold from $54-$83, averaging close to 305c/kg cwt. Better conditioned and heavy weight ewes were $2 easier at $68-$97, or 295c/kg. Limited restocker purchases were made, with the ewe hoggets making $36-$65 and mature ewes $30-$75 and most marginally easier.

Wether prices were firm, with the better drafts making $85-$106 to export feeders. Lighter and store wether drafts sold to restockers for $60-$90. Rams were also firm, with ram lambs selling to processors at up to $120. Young drafts went to export feeders for $40-$80. Older rams sold to processors for $35-$60.

Northern Tasmanian lambs $2-$5 dearer

At the Powranna and Killafaddy saleyards on Tuesday the agents yarded 1000 lambs, 350 fewer than last week, and 660 sheep, 210 more.

The NLRS said there were fewer heavy pens. Most lamb prices were $2-$5 dearer and restockers were less prominent.

Restockers paid $61-$96 for light lambs and $95-$101 for light trade types. Exporters paid $73-$94 for light and light trade lambs. Most trade lambs sold from $95-$117, with heavy weights making $114-$127 and extra heavies $112-$126.

The sheep were mostly wethers and many were light weights with good length fleeces. The market was fully firm for the mixed quality yarding. Light sheep made $60-$78, medium weights and heavy $80-$89.

Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.


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