Lamb prices rise again as the rain disrupts delivery plans in Victoria and New South Wales

Sheep Central September 16, 2016
Greg Anderson & Mel Marshall from MD & JJ Anderson, Crookwell, with Tom Broderick's lambs $169.20 at SELX, Yass.

Greg Anderson & Mel Marshall from MD & JJ Anderson, Crookwell, with Tom Broderick’s lambs $169.20 at SELX, Yass.

LAMB and sheep prices lifted in eastern states saleyards mid-week as supply declined due to weather conditions.

The National Livestock Reporting Service said on Thursday that saleyard lamb supplies this week were down about 13 percent week-on-week.

Widespread rain across most saleyard catchment areas hampered stock transportation, with Victoria and NSW the most affected. The NLRS said lamb slaughter rates also decreased, due mainly to the loss of processing facilities in Queensland, but also fewer head processed in South Australia and Tasmania.

For the first two weeks of September the majority of lambs yarded have been young lambs, with most coming out of NSW and the new season flush yet start in earnest in Victoria, although Horsham yarded 4400 new season lambs this week.

The NLRS said compared to the same period last year, restocker purchases have more than halved across the eastern states, down 71 percent to 6829 head up to Thursday, with higher prices year-on-year attributing to fewer purchases.

The NLRS said eastern states daily lamb indicators continue to out-perform year ago levels by 50-100c/kg cwt.

NLRS indicators generally higher

After Thursday’s saleyard sales, the Eastern States Daily Indicators for lamb were: restocker 635c/kg, down 1 cent; Merino 561c/kg, up 12c; light 597c/kg, up 11c; trade 613c/kg, up 10c; heavy 613c/kg, up 5c. The national trade lamb indicator closed up 10 cents to 615c/kg and the heavy idnice is on 614c/kg, up 6 cents.

The ESDI for mutton and the national indicator both lifted 4 cents to 411c/kg.

Carcoar trade lambs $8-$10 dearer

In New South Wales at Carcoar’s Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange on Wednesday, the agents yarded 3200 lambs, 1000 fewer than last week, and 1300 sheep, 400 less.

The NLRS said it was a mixed lamb yarding, with a few lines of trade and heavy weight new season lambs in good condition, but old lamb quality was only fair.

Light weight lambs sold firm to processors, with the 12-18kg 2 scores making $61-$100. Trade lambs were $8-$10 dearer, with 3 score new season lines selling from $116-$153 to average 635c/kg cwt. Trade weight old lambs sold from $100-$142.

Heavy weight lambs sold at similar rates, with a small pen of old lambs selling to $170. Heavy new season lambs sold to $167. Restockers paid to $112 and hoggets sold to $115.

The mixed yarding of sheep included a good sized line of fattening age wethers in store condition. The few Merino ewes sold firm to processors and the crossbred ewes were $5 cheaper. The 2 score ewes made $48-$76. The better 3 and 4 score crossbred ewes sold from $82-$130 and Merinos made to $102. Merino wethers sold to processors for $112 and store wethers went to restockers for $70-$80.

Yass lambs sell to $170

At the South Eastern Livestock Exchange at Yass on Wednesday, the agents yarded 8416 sheep and lambs.

Ray White Livestock agent Garry Apps said the market was up to $5 stronger for new season lambs and mutton sheep. All the usual buyers competed strongly.

New season lambs averaged $139.80 and sold to $170 for lambs estimated at 23-24kg cwt. The restocker market was very strong and crossbred store sucker lambs made to $90. Old lambs averaged $104.70 and sold to $175.60. Hoggets made to $125.

The better finished sheep sold to the trade for more than 400c/kg. Wethers averaged $90.23 and sold to $145.20. Ewes averaged $82.24 and made to $119. Rams sold to $100.

Wagga trade lambs $6-$10 dearer

At the Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 15,550 lambs, 13,450 fewer than last week, and 5460 sheep, 5540 less.

The NLRS said lamb quality was fair, with good numbers of well-finished lambs and some plainer types. Agents yarded 9300 new season lambs. The usual buyers competed in the dearer market.

Light new season lambs lifted $10 to $118-$126. Trade weights were $6-$10 dearer at $128-$159. Heavy and extra heavy lambs were well-supplied and also lifted $6-$10. Heavy lambs sold from $156-$172 and extra heavies made $174-$195. Carcase prices averaged 653c/kg.

Old light lambs improved $10 to $107-$124. Trade weights were also $10 better at $118-$151. Heavy and extra heavies sold $5 dearer at $150-$184.

The sheep were mostly Merinos and quality was very mixed. Prices held steady, with Merino ewes making $83-$128. Crossbred ewes sold from $78-$130 and Merino wethers made $91-$124.

Hamilton lambs firm to $5 cheaper

In Victoria at the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday 742 lambs, 910 fewer than last week, and 3515 sheep, 17 more.

The NLRS said a plainer offering of mixed old lambs, with pen-lots of mostly trade and light weights and a few heavy pens, was yarded for the usual buyers.

Prices fluctuated during the market, with light and medium old lambs selling firm to $5 cheaper. Light trade weight 2 score lambs sold from $84-$95. Medium and heavy trade weight 2 and 3 scores sold from $125-$145, or 477-581c/kg, to average an estimated 540c/kg.

Competition for sheep remained steady, but prices were $5 cheaper for light weights, $2-$4 easier for medium trade mutton and firm for heavy crossbreds. Restocker involvement was very limited, but they paid $97 117 Dorper ewes with lambs.

The sheep varied from good drafts of shorn medium weight and heavy Merino wethers to light, medium and heavy weight crossbred and Merino ewes. Light sheep sold from $45-$78 and medium 2 and 3 scores $83-$96. Merino mutton averaged 400c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score crossbreds sold from $100-$130, averaging 375c/kg. Medium and heavy Merino wethers mostly made $94-$104, with full wool lines making to $118 and averaging 415c/kg. Heavy rams of all breeds sold from $87-$121 and hoggets made $85-$110.

Strong competition on Horsham lambs

At the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 5850 lambs, 2630 more than last week, and 6400 sheep, 3505 more.

The NLRS said the yarding included 4400 new season lambs. Competition was strong from the full field of buyers. The quality of the young lambs was very good and the heavy trade weights sold well.

New season trade weight lambs sold to strong demand, with the best 22-24 kg trade lambs making $132-$170 to average 625c/kg. Extra heavy new season lambs sold from $160-$172.

Old crossbred lambs varied in quality and prices fluctuated. Old trade lambs prices fell by up to $5 to $99-$131.

Sheep quality was mixed, with quite a few excellent pens of heavy sheep. All the usual buyers attended and competition was very strong. Heavy weight Merino ewes made to $135 and Crossbred ewes to $128.

Ouyen lambs sell to $182

Stan Stone, Torrita, Fred Latta, Walpeup, and Gary Crow, Underbool, at Ouyen saleyards.

Stan Stone, Torrita, Fred Latta, Walpeup, and Gary Crow, Underbool, at Ouyen saleyards. Mr Latta sold Merino lambs for $106 and Mr Crow sold crossbreds for up to $141.

At the Ouyen saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 3792 new season lambs, 2494 old lambs and 1176 mutton sheep, down significantly due to the wet conditions.

Most of our usual buyers attended, but not all were fully active. Lambs still sold to strong competition in the mainly firm market.

Heavy new season lambs sold to $182. Export weight crossbred sucker lambs sold from $142-$182, or 580-610c/kg cwt, trade weights made $119-$165, or 590-620c/kg, and store lines sold for $96-$117, or 600-650c/kg.

A smaller yarding of mutton sheep sold $2-$4 cheaper. Heavy sheep sold for 380-400c/kg cwt.

Katanning lambs $3-$9 cheaper

In Western Australia at the Katanning saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 2000 lambs, 2132 fewer than last week, and 3890 sheep, 110 less.

The NLRS said lamb prices were down $3-$9 overall, with limited demand from buyers. New season light weight Merino lambs made $44, while crossbreds sold for $70-$73. The trade weight lambs made $85-$100. Heavy weight new season lambs sold from $100-$112. Old season light weight lambs sold to feeder buyers for $51-$77. Lambs suitable for air freight made $70-$85. Trade weight lambs eased $10 to $87-$90.

Ewes dominated the yarding, with lighter ewes easing $6 and heavy ewes were down $5-$12. Mutton supply and quality were high again this week, but prices eased with light ewes selling from $60-$79 with a full fleece. Light ewes-slaughter sold for $40-$80 with a coat, and prime three score mutton sold from $58-$96. Young blue tag ewes sold from $49-$90, depending on quality.

Wethers finished down $3 on last week with processors paying $65-$80. Restockers and feeders paid $34 for light plain wethers-$108 for large framed wethers with a full fleece. Ram lambs sold for $15-$84 depending on size, while older rams realised $15-$73 depending on age.

Warwick lambs sell to $187

In Queensland at the Warwick saleyards, the agents yarded 1429 lambs and hoggets, and 460 sheep.

The market was quoted firm to a shade dearer for all descriptions for a similar yarding of sheep and lambs.

Inglewood producers D.M. & J.B. Pietsch of Bunty Downs sold the top-priced 65kg lwt lambs for $187.

Crossbred lambs 51-55kg lwt sold from $146-$164, 46-50kg lambs made $136-$150, the 41-45kg lines sold for $128-$136 and the 35-40kg lambs made $108-$124

Shorn crossbred hoggets 57.5kg lwt sold to $118. Trade wethers with $6 skins made to $95, or 390c/kg cwt.

Heavy crossbred ewes with $20 skins made to $122, or 375c/kg, and light ewes with $4 skins sold to $74, or 290c/kg.

Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.


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