Lamb prices hold firm as restockers seek scanned ewes and ewe-lamb units

Sheep Central, July 18, 2016
These late-February shorn September-October drop Poll Dorset cross lambs, 18.9kg cwt and mostly score 2, sold for $131.18 at Walcha, NSW, on AuctionsPlus last week.

These late-February shorn September-October drop Poll Dorset cross lambs, 18.9kg cwt and mostly score 2, sold for $131.18 at Walcha, NSW, on AuctionsPlus last week.

LAMB prices continued to generally firm in saleyards late last week, while restockers focussed on scanned ewe and ewe-lamb unit offerings online.

Prices for trade and heavy lambs fluctuated around quality to be generally firm in New South Wales, improving for quality lambs at Griffith, but trending lower on a per head basis at Cowra, to be almost equivalent on a carcase weight comparison.

At Griffith, new season lambs, 18.1-20kg cwt with $9 skins sold for $128, or 626c/kg, and at Cowra, 18.1-22kg young lambs with $4-$6 skins, sold for $124-$155, or 626-715c/kg. Young lambs 12.1-16kg cwt with $3 skins at Cowra made $54-$72, or 364-460c/kg.

After Friday’s saleyard sales, the National Livestock Reporting Service’s Eastern States Daily Indicators for lambs, and their daily and weekly changes, were: restocker, 577c/kg, down 2 cents daily, up 1c for the week; Merino 599c/kg, up 3c, up 14c; light 596c/kg, up 3c, up 21c; trade 640c/kg, up 1c, up 27c; heavy 655c/kg, no change, up 23c. The national trade lamb indicator closed up 1 cent to 639c/kg and the heavy lamb indicator is on 655c/kg, also up 1 cent.

The ESDI for mutton finished the week down 1 cent to 396c/kg, still up 22 cents week-on-week. The national mutton indicator closed down 1 cent to 390c/kg.

Griffith’s heavy and extra heavy lambs lift $3-$5

In New South Wales at the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 9500 lambs, 4200 more than last week, and 1100 sheep, 400 fewer.

The NLRS said lamb yarding’s quality was mixed; comprising well-finished and plainer lambs. Trade lambs were limited. The usual buyers competed in a firm to dearer market.

Light lambs lifted $3 to $110-$124. Trade weights were firm to $3 better at $124-$159. Heavy and extra heavy weight lambs were well-supplied and lifted $3-$5. Heavy lambs sold from $150-$181. Extra heavy weights made $169-$222. Carcase prices averaged from 634-670c/kg. Merino lambs sold from $126-$168.

Mutton prices remained fair. Merino ewes sold from $87-$130. Heavy crossbreds sold from $118-$126.

Cowra’s trade lambs firm to $5 cheaper

At the Corowa saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 5820 lambs, 1370 more than last week, and 780 sheep, 310 more.

The NLRS said it was a mixed quality lamb yarding. There were well-presented heavy and better trade lambs and some plainer lines. The first of the new season lambs were in top condition.

Mainly heavy lambs were penned, with fewer trades weights and store lines. Most buyers were operating and competition was reasonable, resulting in a firm to slightly cheaper market.

Light lambs sold to processors averaged $113. New season trade weights sold from $124-$154. Medium and heavy trade weight old lambs were firm to $5 cheaper and averaged 640c/kg cwt. Most of the heavy trade weights sold from $134-$147. Heavy weight lambs were firm to slightly cheaper at 640-655c/kg. A few pens of extra heavy weight lambs sold from $194-$215.

Sheep quality varied. Light Merino ewes averaged $56 and medium weight 3 score ewes averaged $75, or 330c/kg.

AuctionsPlus buyer interest spikes

Sheep and lamb numbers on AuctionsPlus eased by 858 head to 28,685 last week. Buyer interest is still strong with the Tuesday catalogue receiving a massive 12,000 hits, and over 550 users logging into the sales this week.

At Mingbool in South Australia 200 13-14 month-old mid-February shorn Cashmore/Oaklea blood composite ewes topped the sales at $244. The ewes weighed 62.7kg lwt, were mostly score 3 and scanned in lamb 100 percent to Cashmore/Oaklea maternal composite rams.

A small line of 55 May-July drop first cross ewe lambs at Brocklesby in New South Wales sold for $236. These mid-October shorn ewes weighed 72.2kg lwt, were mostly score 4, and scanned in lamb 149pc to Poll Dorset rams. First cross ewe lambs averaged $155 and older first cross ewes averaged $129.

Merino ewe numbers remained strong this week with young ewes averaging $158 and making to $181 for 378 two year-old mid-February shorn Hazeldean blood ewes at Cootamundra, NSW. These ewes were 100pc scanned in lamb to Poll Dorset rams, weighed 52.3kg lwt and were mostly score 2. Proven Merino breeders sold for up to $173 for 100 three year-old early-July shorn Collinsville blood ewes from Bridgewater North in Victoria. These ewes were scanned 100pc in lamb to White Suffolk rams, weighed 51.3kg lwt and were mostly score 3. A second line of 130 20-22month-old ewes from the same vendor, 47.4kg lwt and mostly score 3, and also 100pc scanned in lamb to White Suffolk rams, made $178.

Older ewes averaged $115 and made up to $140.50, for 540 seven year-old early-April shorn Gingie blood ewes from Brewarrina, NSW. These ewes were scanned in lamb to White Suffolk rams, weighed 53.9kg lwt and were mostly score 2.

Merino wether lambs averaged $81 and sold up to $107.50 for 145 10-11 month old late-February shown Langdene blood wethers, at Dunedoo, NSW. They weighed 47.2kg lwt and were mostly score 2. Merino hoggets averaged $87 and sold to $100 for 530 12-14 month old early-December shorn Boonooke and Pemcaw blood wethers at Bollon in Queensland. They weighed 46.1kg lwt and were mostly score 2.

Numbers of ewe-lamb units dropped this week, but prices remained strong, with an average of $180 and a top price of $228 for 595 five year-old early-November shorn first cross ewes with 685 Poll Dorset 1-3 month-old lambs, average lwt 24kg, at Euroa, Victoria. These ewes weighed in at 61.4kg and were mostly score score 2.

Store lambs weighing 27-32kg lwt made $79.50-$115.50, to average $102 or 336c/kg, the 33-36kg lambs sold from $74.50-$87.50, to average $81 or 238c/kg, and the 40-45kg lines sold for $120.50-$131, to average $126 or 294c/kg.

A line of 1300 September-November drop unshorn White Suffolk cross mixed sex lambs at Collarenebri, NSW, weighing 17.5kg cwt and mostly score 2, made $127.50 with a total lot value of $165,750.

At Walcha, NSW, 450 late February shorn September-October drop Poll Dorset cross lambs, 18.9kg cwt and mostly score 2, sold for $131.18.

Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.


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