Prime & Store Sheep Reports

Lamb prices lift to 630c/kg in Hamilton and to 646c/kg in Dubbo

Sheep Central, December 4, 2023

QUALITY trade and export lamb prices tipped over 600c/kg carcase weight and up to 630c/kg in Hamilton today and higher in New South Wales centres, highlighting the growing demand for quality from domestic processors and exporters.

Meat and Livestock Australia’s National Livestock Reporting Service reporter Graham Pymer said a full contingent of buyers operated very keenly in the dearer market at Hamilton in south-west Victoria.

Most lambs sold $10-$20/head up on last Monday’s sale, he said.

Processors operated strongly on a large number of lighter weight lambs suiting orders, Mr Pymer reported. Medium and heavy trade weight lambs sold from $124-$162, with heavier weight young lambs making $183-$190. A small pen of Autumn drop shorn suckers from Hamilton direct producer Ken Burns sold at $200.

There were several pens of South Down and Suffolk cross, trade weight lambs penned and they sold from $132 to $162/head at times realising well over 600c/kg cwt. Restocker and feeder competition was limited and they paid from $32 to $98/head, the NLRS said.

The Hamilton agents yarded 16,925 lambs for their second Monday sale, an increase of 7425. Quality ranged from average to very good with some lambs showing dryness in the skins but still with good fat cover, the NLRS said.

Kerr & Co Livestock auctioneer Craig Pertzel said 600c/kg was commonplace for some lambs today, among the heavy trade and export lambs.

“We haven’t seen it (600c/kg) until today.”

He said the prices paid indicated that processors were “running out of the good ones” and he could not see why similar prices would not be paid for quality lambs going forward.

Prices also hit 600c/kg at Bendigo

At the Bendigo saleyards today, NLRS reporter Jenny Kelly said more were processors active, including a major supermarket that hasn’t operated at the centre for some weeks.

Ms Kelly said price gains of $5-$10 were common across the lamb run, although there was spikes of $15 and more in places. The stronger trend was achieved despite lamb quality being mixed, with a lot of stock showing signs of having dried-off and lacking consistent fat cover, she said. The biggest lift in demand was for trade lambs and for restocking and light MK processing types.

Ms Kelly said the Bendigo agents yarded nearly 29,000 head, made up of 16,650 lambs and 11,250 sheep.  She said influencing supply was the stronger prices and the fact there is now only two markets left at Bendigo before the Christmas and New Year break.

“Once again there wasn’t a lot of weight available and the few pens of 30kg plus export lambs sold from $160 to a top of $185/hd.

“Most of the weight was in some older shorn lambs,” she said.

The lead run of heavy 26-30kg cwt young lambs at Bendigo sold from $146-$171 at a ballpark cost of 560c/kg wt. The heavy trade young lambs $136-$151, and the neat medium trades $120-$145. On a carcase basis, most good processing lambs were costing from 540-580c/kg cwt with odd pens ouching on 600c/kg. Restockers and MK lamb buyers competed against each other on light lambs and more sales moved up into the range of $50 to $90/head. The main run of small crossbred store lambs 12-16kg to the paddock averaged $64.

Dubbo heavy lambs to 646.5c/kg

At the Dubbo saleyards today, heavy export lambs sold to 646.60c/kg in an overall yarding of 14,870 lambs, 7845 more.

The NLRS said better finished trade weight lambs were firm to $4 dearer and the plainer types were $5-$8 cheaper. Trade weight old lambs weighing 20-24kgs sold from $76-$154 to average 560-600c/kg cwt. Heavy weight lambs were $8-$12 dearer with the 24-30kg old lambs selling from $130-$196. Lambs over 30kg made $170-$202 to average 595c/kg cwt. Heavy weight new season lambs sold to $171.

Lightweight lambs to the processors were $6 dearer with the 12-18kg 2 scores selling from $36-$68. Merino lambs were $2 dearer with trade weights making $69-$98. Lambs to the restockers were firm with young crossbreds selling from $9-$53 and young Merino lambs made $9-$34.

Tamworth lambs to 635c/kg

Heavy 26.1-30kg export lambs sold to 635c/kg at Tamworth today.

The NLRS said there were limited supplies of well-finished good quality lambs to suit the processors. All regular processors attended along with local restockers.

Well-finished new season lambs to the local trade market were mostly dearer with some quality and supply-related change. The heavy weight young lambs were keenly sought and sold to a much dearer trend. Heavy weight old lambs sold to slightly dearer trends.

The increased supply of light weight young lambs contributed to cheaper trends through the restocker lambs despite the recent follow up rain. Prices were down by $7 to $8 per head.

Corowa restocking lambs lift by up to $20

The NLRS said new season lambs to the restockers were generally much dearer and up to $20 in places and sold from $20-$92/head. Medium and heavy trade weight lambs were $6-$8 dearer and averaged 490-520c/kg cwt. Most heavy trade weight 23-24kg sold from $118-$130.  Heavy weight lambs were $7-$12 dearer and averaged 540c/kg. Heavy weights sold from $135-$139 and extra heavy weights made $130-$170.20.


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