Lamb prices lift in saleyards as online numbers fall before forecast rain

Sheep Central, May 2, 2016
Merino lambs2 Dirranbandi Qld AuctionsPlus May2-16

These 710 August September drop Merino wether lambs, 16.6kg cwt, sold for $79 at Dirranbandi in Queensland on AuctionsPlus last week.

SALEYARD lamb prices continued to climb late last week as domestic and export processors vied for the quality supplies.

Rates for light lambs – 16-18kg cwt – increased the most; lifting by $6 at the Griffith saleyards to $95-$107 or 500-544c/kg cwt for lambs with $9-$10 skins. At Cowra, crossbred light lamb prices rose by up to $14 to $100 or 528c/kg cwt for lines with $5 skins.

Trade lamb prices rose by $5-$11 and heavy lambs sold firm to $7 dearer than at the same time last week.

NLRS indicators firm to dearer

All the National Livestock Reporting Service’s Eastern States Daily Indicator categories for lamb finished the week higher, with light, restocker and Merino lambs the best performers.

After Friday’s saleyard sales, the ESDIs for lamb, their daily and weekly changes were: restocker 510c/kg, up 7 cents, up 32c; Merino 481c/kg, no change, up 19c; light 511c/kg, up 5c, up 21c; trade 520c/kg, up 2c, up 11c; heavy 515c/kg, up 2c, up 11c; heavy 515c/kg, up 1c, up 7c.

The national trade lamb indicator closed the week on 520c/kg, up 2 cents, and the heavy indice finished on 515c/kg, up 1 cent.

The ESDI for mutton lifted 3 cents to 318c/kg, equalling the firm national indicator.

Griffith trade lambs lift $3-$4

In New South Wales at the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the 8500 lambs, 1300 more than last week, and 1900 sheep, 900 more.

The NLRS said lamb quality was mixed, with some handy runs of well-finished and grain-assisted pens offered along with the plainer drier types. Heavy and extra heavy weight lambs were well-supplied. The usual buyers competed in a dearer market.

Light lambs lifted $6 to sell from $95-$107. Trade weights sold $3-$4 better at $106-$127. Heavy and extra heavy weight lambs were $3-$5 dearer. Heavy lambs sold from $127-$138 and extra heavy weights made $137-$178, or 491-524c/kg cwt.

Sheep quality continued to be very mixed. Merino ewes sold from $78-$115. Crossbreds made $92-$104 and Dorper ewes $76-$104.

Cowra trade lambs $5-$11 dearer

At the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 4850 lambs, 550 more than last week, and 1980 sheep, 680 more.

The NLRS said lamb quality improved with most of the trade and heavy lambs generally showing better finish. Mainly heavy were weights penned, along with a handy run of trade lambs. Store lambs were limited in supply. Competition from the usual buyers was quite a bit stronger resulting in a dearer market.

Light lambs sold as much as $14 dearer and averaged $86. Medium and heavy trade weights were $5-$11 dearer and averaged 530-550c/kg. The better finished trade weights sold from $115-$133. Heavy weight lambs were firm to $7 dearer and averaged 480-530c/kg. A few pens of heavy weight 24kg lambs sold from $138-$148 and the extra heavy weights made $163-$177.50.

Sheep quality was quite good. Light 2 score Merino ewes averaged $48.90. Heavy first cross ewes were $6 dearer and averaged from $77-$95.70 or 300c/kg cwt. Heavy wethers sold to $134 and averaged 315c/kg.

AuctionsPlus numbers fall

AuctionsPlus market operations officer Harriet Forster said sheep and lamb prices and numbers were tested last week by the ongoing dry spell, with many hoping and looking for the rain forecasted over the weekend to provide some much needed relief.

Online sheep and lamb listings decreased 9727 to 41,330. Merinos continued to be well-represented with high restocker demand matching the supply. Strong interstate demand led to Merino ewes being trucked 1770 kilometres from Tara in Queensland to Cavendish in Victoria, she said.

Merino ewe lambs averaged $102 with a line of 220 11-12 month-old mid-March shorn Tameleuca blood ewes, 45.3kg lwt and mostly score 3, at Kerang, in northern Victoria selling for the top price of $127.

Ms Forster said a flock dispersal near Keith in South Australia produced some outstanding prices, with the maiden ewes taking out the top price of the week of $218.50. The 140 early April shorn 21-22 month-old Lines blood ewes weighed 62.9kg lwt and were mostly score 3 and 4. They were scanned 100 percent in lamb to Border Leicester rams.

Within a larger offering of proven breeders averaging $141, 245 33-35 month-old Lines blood ewes at Keith sold for the top price of $201. The early April shorn ewes weighed 72.6kg and were mostly score 3 and 4, and 100pc scanned in lamb to Border Leicester rams. Ms Forster said competition on these ewes was strong, with six bidders fighting for the line.

Aged Merino ewes sold from $72- $125 to average $104. A line of 6-7 year-old Wanganella blood mid-January shorn ewes, 65.6kg lwt and mostly score 2, and scanned 100pc in lamb to composite rams at Rand in New South Wales sold for the top price.

Merino wether lambs ranged from $49-$79 to average $60, with 710 unshorn August-September drop Centre Plus blood lambs at Dirranbandi in Queensland making the top price.

Ms Forster said lamb numbers dropped further last week.  Lambs weighing under 31kg lwt sold from $49-$75.50, averaging of $64 or 230c/kg lwt and the 37-39kg lambs made $80-$96, averaging $85 or 222c/kg. The heaviest lambs offered weighing over 40kg sold from $86-$105.50, averaging $93 or 225c/kg.

Young first cross maiden ewes from Bowna, NSW, sold for $154. The 96 mid-June shorn two year-olds weighed 60.5kg, were mostly score 3 and scanned 145pc in lamb to Poll Dorset rams. Older 3-4 year old Border Leicester and Merino ewes averaged $149, with 305 early November shorn 3-4 year-olds weighing 60.6kg and mostly score 4 at Bridgewater on Loddon in Victoria selling for the top price of $159. They were scanned 100pc in lamb to White Suffolk rams.

A line of 180 two-year-old mid-October shorn Primeline composite ewes made the top price for crossbred ewes this week of $214. The maternal composite ewes at Kingston, SA weighed 69.5kg lwt, were mostly score 3, and were scanned 100pc in lamb to Suffolk and White Suffolk rams.

Sources: MLA, NLRS AuctionsPlus.


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