Markets

Lamb prices lift as strong demand for quality old and new season lambs continues

Sheep Central, July 28, 2016
These February-March 2016-drop Poll Dorset cross lambs, 14.3kg cwt and mostly score 2, sold for $$115 at Temora, NSW, on AuctionsPlus yesterday.

These February-March 2016-drop Poll Dorset cross lambs, 14.3kg cwt and mostly score 2, sold for $$115 at Temora, NSW, on AuctionsPlus on Thursday.

LAMB prices lifted in saleyards mid-week, driven by restricted quality old lamb supplies, and helped by competition on increasing numbers of new season drafts in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.

Domestic processor demand for quality trade and export weight lambs remains strong and restockers were also very active mid-week on suitable light new season lines.

At the Wagga saleyards on Thursday, MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service said major domestic processors were the strongest on trade and heavy lambs with finish and shorter skins, lifting prices by up to $10 dearer. Most of the new season trade lambs at Wagga also sold $10 higher at $124-$166, averaging 667c/kg.

After Thursday’s saleyard sales, the National Livestock Reporting Service quoted the Eastern States Daily Indicator for restocker lambs as increasing 66 cents to 611c/kg and the ESDIs for trade and heavy lambs regained much of the recent losses.

The ESDIs for the other lamb categories are: Merino 559c/kg, down 1 cent; light 565c/kg, up 5c; trade 635c/kg, up 12c, heavy 639c/kg, up 7 cents. The national trade lamb indicator rose 13 cents to 636c/kg and the heavy indice is up 7 cents to 639c/kg.

The ESDI for mutton is up 2 cents at 387c/kg and the national mutton indicator is on 3885c/kg, up 3 cents.

Cootamundra trade lambs fall $10-$13

In New South Wales at the Cootamundra saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 6374 lambs, 940 more than two weeks ago, and 2167 sheep, 1300 fewer.

The NLRS said lamb quality was plain, as wet and cold weather continued. Most were light secondary lambs and there was only a small run of well-finished trade weights. Heavy lambs were in short supply and there was a few pens of new season lambs. Most of the usual buyers were active in a cheaper market, mostly due to quality.

Light processing lambs were $3 cheaper at $79-$110. The medium and heavy trade weights were $10-$13 cheaper at $114-$146. Heavy lambs eased at similar rates to $144-$163 and extra heavy weights sold to $181.60. Carcase prices ranged from 600-630c/kg cwt. The best hoggets sold to $140.

Sheep quality was plain. Prices were similar to the previous sale, with medium weights selling from $74-$102 and heavy crossbred ewes made to $128. Better covered sheep averaged 380-420c/kg.

Carcoar’s heavy lambs lift $10

At the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange at Carcoar on Wednesday, the agents yarded 3600 lambs, 2900 fewer than last week, and 1200 sheep, 300 less.

The NLRS said it was a fair quality yarding, with some lambs showing the effects of the winter. There were a few pens of good trade lambs and a very limited number of heavy weights. Light weight lambs sold $4 cheaper to processors, with the 12-18kg 2 scores making $56-$108. Trade lambs were $3-$4 dearer, with the 3 scores selling from $100-$159, or mostly 625-645c/kg. A single pen of well-presented trade weight new season lambs sold for $160. The limited selection of heavy weight lambs sold up to $10 dearer, with the over 22kg 4 scores making $159-$181. A single pen of trade weight Merino lambs sold for $104 and hoggets sold to $110.

The very mixed yarding of sheep included most grades that sold at firm to dearer rates. The 2 score ewes sold from $34-$72. The better 3 and 4 score crossbreds made $77-$124 and the Merinos sold to $114. Merino wethers sold to $112.

Domestic processors lift Wagga’s trade lambs by $10

At the Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 27,800 lambs, 1100 more than last week, and 5280 sheep, 1720 fewer.

The NLRS said the quality of the trade and heavy lamb lambs was quite good, but the light weight lambs were in plainer condition.

More new season lambs were offered — including more than 2000 in one consignment — which sold strongly to restockers. Farmers are now in the process of locking up grazing crops, which is contributing to the increasing numbers of new season lambs at the market.

Not all export buyers operated fully in the heavy export category. Major domestic processors were the strongest on trade and heavy lambs displaying finish and shorter skins. The greatest influence over trade prices was major domestic processors, who pushed the values of well-finished trade and heavy lambs up to $10 dearer. Most of the new season trade lambs also sold $10 higher at $124-$166, averaging 667c/kg. Grain-fed and shorter wool trade lambs again attracted the strongest bidding. The better finished 22-24kg cwt lines sold at $151-$178, averaging 682c/kg. Lighter weight new season lamb lambs sold from $60-$113.

Heavy lambs sold to stronger export competition from more buyers. Prices were generally $8-$15 dearer, averaging 640c/kg. There was a reasonable number of extra heavy lambs that sold from $174-$224.

The mixed quality offering of sheep included all weights and grades. Heavy cross bred ewes averaged 351c/kg. Trade sheep sold unchanged to $3 dearer at $64-$114, averaging 347-377c/kg. Plain light weight sheep made from $46-$67.

Hamilton’s light lambs $2-$5 cheaper

In Victoria at the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 2212 lambs, 2352 fewer than last week, and 941 sheep, 3445 less.

The NLRS said lamb quality was average to plain and not all the usual buyers operated fully. The recent fall in skin values also had an effect on lowering some of the lamb and mutton prices.

Prices for the better finished medium and heavy trade weight lambs were generally $2 either side of firm and heavy lambs were slightly easier. Light lambs sold $2-$5 cheaper. Restockers paid $52-$60 for light store lambs. Light weight 2 score lambs sold to processors for $65-$90, averaging 530c/kg. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $93-$118 to average 588c/kg. Medium trade weight 3 score lambs made $125-$152, or 627-691c/kg, averaging an estimated 660c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $155-$175.

Heavier weight crossbred sheep sold $4-$10 cheaper in the mixed offering and the medium and light weight drafts were $2-$3 easier. Restockers paid to $77 for Merino hoggets and $70-$114 for crossbred ewes. Very light 1 score sheep sold from $25-$48 and the light weight 1 and 2 scores made $57-$75. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep sold from $70-$105, or 336-425c/kg. Merino mutton averaged 400c/kg. The heavy 3 and 4 score crossbred sheep sold from $94-$120, averaging close to 350c/kg. The best Merino wethers made $94-$120 and averaged an estimated 405c/kg. Rams of all breeds sold from $35-$120.

Horsham’s lambs $5-$10 dearer

At the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 2355 lambs, 2415 fewer than last week, and 2309 sheep, 858 less.

The NLRS said the yarding included 400 new season young lambs. Quality was average as smaller lots of old lambs were sold off. Most of the regular buyers attended and operated in a dearer market.

Lambs sold up to $5-$10 dearer. Heavy lambs sold to $202 and the heavier trade weights made $158-$162. Light trade weight young lambs sold from $128-$142 to average around 670c/kg. Merino lambs sold to $138. Restockers paid from $70-$102 for young lambs and $89-$94 for shorn Merino ewes.

The sheep offering included all weights and grades, with prices firm to $10 easier, including for heavy drafts. Light weight 2 score lambs sold from $91-$98. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs made $99-$142 with the better lambs sold close to 700c/kg, all averaging around 630c/kg. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $144-$155 and the heavier drafts made $158-$162, 655-700c/kg to average around 680c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $176-$202. Heavy hoggets made $98-$124.

Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $51.50-$85. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep made $66-$115, or 320-440c/kg. Merino mutton averaged around 400c/kg. Heavy 3-5 score crossbred sheep sold from $82-$107. Heavy Merino ewes made $91-$107 and averaged around 370c/kg.

Ouyen’s export lambs lift $5

The Ouyen Livestock Exchange offered 10,663 lambs and 2395 sheep on Thursday and will commence weekly sales after the regular sale on Thursday August 25.

Heavy export lambs sold firm to $5 dearer this week, and trade lambs sold firm to $5 cheaper. Mutton prices eased $2-$5.

Crossbred export lambs sold from $160-$210, or 600-630c/kg, trade weights made $112-$175, or 630-670c/kg, and store lines sold for $75-$120, or 590-660c/kg.

Light Merino lambs sold from $82-$115, or 540-560c/kg, and heavy lines made $126-157, or 560-580c/kg.

Light sheep sold from $45-$96, or 370-410c/kg, and heavy lines made $98-$128, or 350-380c/kg.

Katanning’s new season lambs sell to $120

In Western Australia at the Katanning saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 5474 lambs, 1474 more than last week, and 4000 sheep, 535 more.

The NLRS said lambs dominated the yarding, with new season lambs selling from $60-$120. Old light weight lambs sold from $60-$80. Trade weight lambs made $82-$120. Heavy weight lambs sold from $118-$125. Lambs suitable for air freight made $72-$100. Crossbred lambs sold to feeders for $60-$96. Light Merino store lambs sold from $36 up to $68 for the better framed lambs.

Sheep supplies were again limited. Young Merino red and blue tag ewes sold from $50-$90. Light ewes with a full fleece sold from $62-$73. Light ewes sold to processors made $38-$70 and prime three score mutton sold from $63-$98.

Wethers sold for $78-$125 to processors, depending on weight, and for $58-$110 to feeders, depending on frame and quality. Live exporters paid $80-$127 for wethers. Ram lambs sold for $20-$118 depending on size and older rams made $20-$80, depending on quality and weight.

Warwick lambs sell to $191

In Queensland at the Warwick saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 986 lambs and hoggets, and 136 sheep.

The lamb market was firm to dearer and sheep sold fully firm in the smaller yarding.

The top price of $191 was paid for 65kg lwt lambs from Allan O’Donnell of Warwick.

Crossbred lambs 51-55kg lwt sold from $146-$157, 46-50kg lambs made $140-$160, the 41-45kg drafts sold for $138-$153 and the 35-40kg lambs made $124-$148.

Shorn crossbred hoggets 45kg lwt sold to $115. Trade wethers with $8 skins sold to $148, or 350c/kg cwt, and light wethers with $6 skins made to $95, or 300c/kg. Heavy crossbred ewes with $10 skins sold to $127, or 350c/kg, and light ewes with $6 skins made to $85, or 280c/kg.

Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.

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