Lamb prices hold firm to dearer into Australia Day weekend

Sheep Central, January 25, 2016

QUALITY slaughter lambs sold firm to dearer in saleyards on Friday last week, continuing the positive trend in the lead-up to the Australia Day weekend.

Trade sold up to $3 dearer in the Cowra and Griffith saleyards last Friday, while only a small selection of quality domestic and export lambs was offered at Shepparton.

Mutton prices continued to slide in saleyards, easing $6-$14 at the Cowra saleyards on Friday.

After Friday’s saleyard sales, the National Livestock Reporting Service quoted the Eastern States Daily Indicators for trade lambs as firm on 525c/kg, lifting 9 cents during the week. The ESDI for heavy lambs closed at 539c/kg, down 1 cent on Friday, but finishing up 12 cents for the week.

The other ESDIs for lamb, their daily and weekly movements, were: restocker 513c/kg, down 2 cents, down 22c; Merino 459c/kg, up 2c, down 4c; light 479c/kg, no daily or weekly change.

The ESDI and national indicators for mutton closed firm on 267c/kg, representing a 41-cent fall in the ESDI last week.

AuctionsPlus sheep and lamb numbers fell last week

The number of sheep and lambs offered on AuctionsPlus dropped by 1296 to 57,730 last week, with 43 percent of listings being breeding stock.

Maiden Merino ewes made from $83.50 to top at $171 for a line of 15-16 month old ewes, with a 3cm skin, unjoined, of Gum Hill blood from Harden, NSW. Proven breeders made $84.50-$136 and averaged $107. Aged Merino ewes made up to $105.50 for a line of six year-old ewes at Ardlethan, NSW, scanned in lamb to Border Leicester rams.

First cross future breeders made from $85-$194 to average $123. The top line offered was a line of 10 month-old ewes, unjoined with a 2cm skin, from Mendooran, NSW.

Merino wether lambs made $45-$82.50 to average at $65. The top line of wethers were 9-10 months old, Pooginook and Wallaloo blood lambs with a 5.5cm skin from Lubeck, Victoria. Wether hoggets averaged $67. The top line was a draft of 18-20 month old Tara Park blood wethers with a 4cm skin, from Bowning, NSW which made $76.50.

The number of store crossbred lambs offered on AuctionsPlus dropped. The 23-26kg lwt lambs made $72-$75, 27–30kg lambs sold from $51-$80.50 and 31-34kg lambs ranged from $68-$100. The 35–38kg lambs made $85-$98.50 and 39–41kg lambs sold from $93-$107. Heavy Poll Dorset cross lambs weighing 41kg lwt made the top price of $107.

Other stand-out lines included a line of White Dorper and Dorper Ewes from Coolabah, NSW, 6-12 months old, weighing an average of 51kg lwt, which made an impressive $121.50. At Balmoral in Victoria, a line of unjoined mixed aged Composite ewes of Cashmore and Oaklea blood made $143. Lampata blood Merino ewes, 2.5 years-old, from Marama, SA, and scanned in lamb to Merino rams made $160.

Cowra trade lambs $1-$3 dearer

In New South Wales at the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the agents yards 6000 lambs, 2400 fewer than last week, and 1650 sheep, 850 fewer.

The NLRS said lamb quality was good in all categories. Trade weights were better supplied and there still were plenty of heavy and extra heavy lambs. There were fewer store lambs. All the usual buyers were operating along with an extra export order.

The market was dearer in the trade run and cheaper on heavy weights. Restocking lambs sold from $76-$108. The medium and heavy trade weights were $1-$3 dearer, ranging from $108-$134, or mostly 540-560c/kg cwt. Heavy and extra heavy lambs sold $3-$5 cheaper on average. Heavy lambs made $127-$156. Extra heavy lambs topped at $179.

Sheep quality was very mixed. Prices eased $6-$14. Medium weight ewes ranged from $45-$61 and heavy weight crossbreds reached $78. Most sold from 200-240c/kg cwt.

Griffith trade lambs firm to $2 dearer

At the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 6900 lambs, 850 more than last week, and 1600 sheep.

The NLRS said lamb quality was fair, with good numbers of well-finished lambs and a few plainer types. Heavy and extra heavy lambs were well-supplied and all the usual buyers competed in a slightly dearer market.

Light lambs sold from $90-$104. Trade weight lambs held firm to $2 dearer at $106-$135. Heavy and extra heavy weight lambs lifted $2-$5. Heavy lambs sold from $134-$149 and extra heavy weights made $149-$175, 501-550c/kg cwt.

The sheep were mostly Merinos and quality was mixed. Merino ewes sold from $70-$110. Crossbred ewes made $72-$120.

Shepparton’s top lambs sell for $155

In Victoria at the Shepparton saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 1750 lambs and 1200 sheep.

The NLRS said the mixed yarding of sheep and lambs was dominated by Dorpers. The usual processors attended and trends were similar to markets held in the past week. Prices reached a top of $155 for heavy export lambs. There was only a limited selection of quality export and trade lambs. Two pens of heavy lambs sold from $150 to a top of $155 for a pen of lambs with short skins estimated at 29kg cwt. After this there were about 10 handy pens of trade weight lambs which sold from $124-$138. These better-finished slaughter lambs made an estimated 505-540c/kg cwt. Plainer domestic lambs sold from $96-$120, while small and light lambs fluctuated from $33-$77 depending on size and quality. One line of nearly 400 store lambs sold to a local agent at $95.60.

The sheep market was cheaper, following the trend that emerged at sales earlier in the week. Heavy crossbred ewes sold from $65-$80, with most light and plain conditioned ewes from $25-$55. An estimated range of 220-260c/kg covered most mutton sales.

Source: AuctionsPlus, NLRS, MLA.


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