LAMB prices lifted in saleyards mid-week as supplies were limited by wet weather and producers reacting to recent lower price trends.
New season trade and heavy lamb prices lifted $1-$6 in New South Wales and Victorian centres, and light lambs were up to $4 dearer.
The National Livestock Reporting Service reported that sheep and lamb numbers fell at Wagga due to the cheaper trends of last week, and at Horsham, where lamb numbers fell dramatically, recent wet weather was a big factor in stock movements.
Restocking demand for lambs remained strong, with the NLRS quoting the Eastern States Daily Indicator for restocker lambs as rising 22 cents to 627c/kg on Thursday. The other ESDI lamb category rates were: Merino 507c/kg, no change; light 546c/kg, down 1 cent; trade 551c/kg, up 4c, heavy 539c/kg, up 3c. The national trade lamb indicator rose 4 cents to 551c/kg and the heavy lamb indice was 539c/kg, up 3 cents.
The ESDI for mutton rose 2 cents to 363c/kg and the national mutton indicator was 2 cents higher at 362c/kg.
Carcoar’s trade lambs lift $1-$3
In New South Wales at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange on Wednesday, the agents yarded 4300 lambs, 600 fewer than last week, and 1050 sheep, 900 less.
The NLRS said it was a pretty good quality yarding, with a good selection of new season lambs in good condition, though old lamb quality was only fair.
Light weight lambs were $4 dearer, with the 12-18kg 2 scores selling from $70-$96. Trade lambs were $1-$3 dearer, with the trade weight new season lambs making $102-$139 to average 555c/kg cwt. Trade weight old lambs sold from $90-$127. The better selection of heavy weight new season lambs were up to $6 dearer, with the over 22kg 4 scores making $139-$154. Restockers paid to $109 and hoggets sold to $96.
Most grades were represented in the mixed yarding of mutton sheep. Most grades sold firm to $2 cheaper, while the few heavy weight Merino ewes were a little dearer, with fair support coming from the restockers. The 2 score ewes sold from $50-$60. Better 3 and 4 score crossbred ewes made $63-$97. The restockers paid up to $96 for Merino ewes and processors paid to $92. Heavy wethers made to $110.
Cootamundra lambs cheaper
At the Cootamundra saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 4000 lambs, 1100 more than the last sale two weeks ago, and 2150 sheep, 700 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was very mixed, with some good lines of well-finished lambs, plainer types and those more suited to restockers. The usual buyers competed in a market that showed a cheaper trend.
Demand for light new season lambs was strong and they made $102-$109, to average $105. Trade weights followed the trend of other sales in the previous week with carcase prices averaging 565-580/kg. The best of the heavy weights reached $155. Old trade weight lambs sold from $119-$135.
Sheep quality was mixed, with some good lines of medium and heavy sheep available. Prices decreased, with Merino ewes selling from $84-$104. Crossbreds made $80-$114. Merino wethers sold from $76-$95.
Yass new season lambs sell to $165
At the South Eastern Livestock Exchange at Yass on Wednesday, the agents yarded 15,685 sheep and lambs.
Duncombe & Co agent Jock Duncombe quoted the market as softer across all categories. The new season lambs showed freshness. Mainly trade weights were offered, along with a good supply of feeder and store lambs.
The mutton was represented by all weights and categories, with some exceptional heavy shorn Wethers being penned. Not all processors operated due to inflated numbers across the state, with the countryside starting to dry out. Overall the quality of the yarding is starting to reflect the promising season unfolding around the region.
New season lambs sold to $165 and averaged $114.14. Old lambs made to $144.60 and averaged $100.74. Merino lambs sold to $109 and averaged $77.03.
Hoggets made to $107 and averaged $80.74. Wethers sold to $115 and averaged $81.37. Crossbred ewes made to $115 and averaged $87.53. Merino ewes sold to $90 and averaged $75.64.
Wagga’s new season lambs $4-$6 dearer
At the Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 24,000 lambs, 6000 fewer than last week, and 8000 sheep, 4000 less.
The NLRS said numbers declined due to the cheaper trends last week. Lamb quality was very good in the new season categories, with plenty of lambs showing spring condition. Old trade and heavy lamb were limited and not all buyers participated. The usual export and domestic buyers attended, although not all operated fully. New season lamb quality was very good, with a few runs of shorn young lambs now appearing throughout the market.
New season trade lambs sold $4-$6 dearer, with the exception of the lighter trade weights. The general run of new season trade lambs made $112-$147, to average 530-547c/kg. Heavy new season lambs sold firm at $138-$143. There were more extra heavy lambs and prices lifted $5 to $148-$179. Old trade lambs were limited, making from $88-$132.
The very good offering of sheep included more medium and heavy sheep. Heavy mutton prices were unchanged and averaged 331c/kg. Trade sheep sold to erratic price trends at $74-$106, to average 380c/kg cwt.
Horsham lambs $5 dearer
In Victoria at the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 5509 lambs, 9860 fewer than last week, and 3175 sheep, 333 less.
The NLRS said recent wet weather was a big factor in stock movements. Quality was again good, with the usual buyers operating in a firm to dearer lamb market.
Lambs sold up to $5 dearer than last week, and more on selected lots. Heavy lambs made to $156, with the heavier trade weights making $130-$145 and averaging around 545c/kg cwt. Restockers paid $97-$112 for lambs, including up to $94 for Merino lambs and
Light weight 2 score lambs sold from $75-$88. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs made $96-$121 and averaged around 545c/kg. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $119-$130, with the heavier weights selling from $130-$145, or 530-570c/kg, to average around 550c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $142-$156. Trade weight and heavy old lambs made $98-$123.
All weights and grades of sheep were yarded. Competition was more subdued, with not all buyers present or operating fully. Sheep mostly sold $5-$10 easier, with some of the heavy sheep up to $15 cheaper than last week. Restockers paid from $100-$109 for young Merino ewes.
Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $49-$74. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep made $62.50-$108, or 300-390c/kg. Merino mutton averaged around 380c/kg. Heavy Merino ewes made $90-$116. Heavy Merino wethers sold from $112-$118 and the medium weights made $79-$88 at around 380-390c/kg. Heavy 3-5 score crossbred sheep sold from $85-$111.
Hamilton’s new season lambs sell to $135
At the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 339 lambs, 5 more than last week, and 1285 sheep, 1616 fewer.
The NLRS said an extra domestic lamb buyer operated with the usual processors. Quality was plain to good, in the mostly new season lambs, with too few old lambs for an accurate quote.
A local restocker bought a pen of crossbred ewes for $100 and paid $71-$86 light old lambs. Light trade weight 2 score young lambs made $95. Medium trade weight new season 2-3 score lambs sold from $114-$128 and a heavier 3 score pen made $135, all averaging an estimated 560c/kg. The 2 and 3 score medium trade weight old lambs sold from $96-$105 and reached a top of $113, averaging 450c/kg. The few sales of hoggets sold from $76-$100.
The sheep were mostly medium-heavy crossbred ewes, with prices $2 either side of firm as the sale fluctuated around quality. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep made $52-$68 and the medium weight mutton sold from $65-$86. Crossbred ewe mutton averaged 350c/kg and Merino ewe mutton 365c/kg. The heavy crossbred sheep sold from $80-$118, averaging close to 328c/kg. Merino wethers sold from $93-$98, to average 380c/kg. Heavy rams of all breeds sold from $55-$94.
Ouyen’s trade lambs firm to $5 dearer
At the Ouyen Livestock Exchange on Thursday, the agents yarded 9670 new season lambs, 2600 old lambs and 3087 sheep.
Agents quoted the market for export lambs as firm to $3 easier and trade weights were firm to $5 dearer. Mutton sheep sold strongly, with extra buyer competition.
New season crossbred export lambs sold from $120-$152, or 500-520c/kg, and trade weights made $105-$135, or 520-560c/kg. Store lambs made $92-$110, or 550-580c/kg.
Light new season Merino lambs sold from $78-$97 and the heavy lines made $102-$114.
Light sheep sold to the trade for $70-$98 and heavy lines made $100-$124.
Keen demand for light lambs at Katanning
In Western Australia at the Katanning saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 5305 lambs, 2305 more than last week, and 5500 sheep, 1641 more.
The NLRS said the usual buyers attended and graziers bought store lines and restocker ewes in the mainly good quality yarding. Light lambs and light ewes were in strong demand from processors.
New season light weight lambs sold from $30-$88. Lambs suitable for airfreight made $70-$92 and trade weight lambs sold from $90-$102. Heavy lambs sold from $104-$107. Feeder buyers paid $57 for the lighter lambs and up to $113 for the heavy drafts. Old season Merino lambs sold from $65-$80 to processors and for $58-$78 to restockers.
Young blue tag ewes were dearer, selling from $52 for plain types and up to $101 for better quality ewes. Mutton prices regained ground, with light and medium ewes up $2-$8 to $59-$76. Prime three score mutton sheep sold from $60 for crossbred lines up to $95 for Merino ewes with a fleece. Store ewes sold very strongly, finishing up $3-$5 at $41-$80.
Wethers sold to processors for $50-$85. Restockers and feeder buyers paid $50 for plain wethers and up to $115 for large framed types with a full fleece. Ram lambs sold from $20-$110 depending on size. Older rams sold to processors for $5-$30 and restockers paid $63 for Merino rams.
Warwick sheep and lambs cheaper
At the Warwick saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 2252 lambs and hoggets, and 378 sheep.
All sheep and lambs were quoted as cheaper for a similar-sized yarding. The top-priced lambs made $151 for the Benjarra Pastoral Co of Ellangowan.
Crossbred lambs 51-55kg lwt sold from $142-$151, 46-50kg lambs made $126-$139, the 41-45kg lines sold for $124-$136, and the 35-40kg lambs made $105-$118.
Shorn crossbred hoggets weighing 79kg lwt sold to $100. Trade wethers with $12 skins made to $119, or 370c/kg cwt and the light wethers with $4 skins sold to $76, or 280c/kg.
Heavy crossbred ewes with $10 skins sold to $110, or 310c/kg, and light ewes with $6 skins made to $64, or 280c/kg.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.