Markets

Lamb prices slump on quality and higher saleyard offerings

Sheep Central, March 4, 2016
These September-October drop White Suffolk cross lambs, 21.6kg cwt and mostly score 2-3, sold for $97.50 at Guyra, NSW, on AuctionsPlus this week.

These September-October drop White Suffolk cross lambs, 21.6kg cwt and mostly score 2-3, sold for $97.50 at Guyra, NSW, on AuctionsPlus this week.

BUYERS paid less for lambs in all categories in saleyards mid-week as yardings increased at all centres.

Most saleyards were reported as yarding fair to average quality lamb yardings as the dry seasonal conditions continued.

Not all the usual buyers operated in all markets and there was limited demand for heavy lambs from export buyers in most centres.

NLRS lamb indicators fall

The National Livestock Reporting Service quoted all Eastern States Daily Indicators for lamb categories as lower, especially for Merino, light and heavy lambs.

After Thursday’s saleyard sales, the lamb ESDIs were: restocker 533, down 3 cents; Merino 476c/kg, down 11c; light 508c/kg, down 7c; trade 516c/kg, down 5c; heavy 509c/kg, down 9c. The national trade lamb indicator finished down 6 cents to 513c/kg and the heavy indice was 9 cents lower on 509c/kg.

The national indicator and ESDI for mutton finished down 6 cents on 299c/kg on Thursday.

Carcoar’s heavy lambs $9-$11 cheaper

In New South Wales at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange at Carcoar on Wednesday, the agents yarded 10,100 lambs, 1700 more than last week, and 6200 sheep, 2000 more.

The NLRS said it was a fair quality yarding, with a good selection of trade and heavy weight lambs and a good number of ideal store lambs. Not all the regular buyers operated in the cheaper market.

Lightweight lambs sold $12 cheaper to processors, with the 12-18kg cwt 2 scores selling from $70-$96. Trade lambs were $9 cheaper, with the 18-23kg old lambs making $90-$126, averaging 505c/kg cwt. Heavy weight lambs were $9-$11 cheaper, with the over 22kg 4 scores selling from $115-$147, averaging 498c/kg. Restockers paid from $78 for light well-finished lambs up to $123 for properly finished heavier weights. Hoggets sold to $108.

The mixed yarding of mutton included some excellent lines of heavy weight sheep and a good percentage of lighter weights. Most grades sold around firm. The 2 score ewes sold from $15-$69. The better 3 and 4 score crossbreds made $60-$106 and Merinos sold to $95. The 3 and 4 score Merino wethers sold from $72-$102.

Wagga lambs $8-14 cheaper

At the Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 30,350 lambs, 4350 more than last week, and 9300 sheep, 1500 more.

The NLRS said lamb quality varied. Heavy and extra heavy lambs were in good numbers and while there was a few well-finished trade weight lines, most lacked finish. Light store lamb numbers improved. Not all the usual buyers were active in the cheaper market.

Store lambs were $8-$12 cheaper, with most selling at $61-$108 and the top pen reaching $113. The medium and heavy trade weights were $9-$10 easier, ranging from $94-$124 and most made 480-500c/kg cwt. Heavy and extra heavy lambs eased $9-$14, with heavy lambs up to 26kg making $110-$144 and extra heavy weights $136-$185. These lambs sold mainly from 460-480c/kg cwt. Merino lambs sold to the trade for $90-$116 and restockers paid to $60 for Merino stores.

Sheep quality was mixed. There was a reasonable number of heavy sheep, but plenty of plain lines. Prices trended cheaper for the overall plainer quality yarding. Medium weight ewes sold from $51-$84. Heavy Merino ewes made $80-$106 and very heavy crossbreds sold to $120. Most sold from 260-300c/kg cwt.

Hamilton heavy lambs drop $4-$7

In Victoria at the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 9717 lambs, 644 more than last week.

The NLRS said lamb quality was plain to average, with fewer good quality lambs offered to buyers from most of the usual processors. There was limited demand for the heavy weight lambs from export buyers.

The yarding provided only a few pens of heavy and medium ideal trade weight lambs. Almost 60 percent of the yarding was lighter plainer types and store condition lambs, an indication of the tough season throughout the western districts this season.

Less export buyer interest led to heavy lambs selling $4-$7 cheaper and rates for medium trade lambs 3 scores fluctuated slightly to be less affected at $2-$3 easier. The plainer lambs sold $6-$10 cheaper with less demand overall.

More restockers from south-east South Australia and local buyers competed with processors and paid $22-$67 for very light stores and $69-$99 for well-bred 2 scores, increasing prices by mostly $10, but more in some isolated sales. Light weight 2 score lambs sold to processors for $88-$100. Medium trade weight 2 and 3 scores made $96-$120 and averaged an estimated 510c/kg cwt. The heavy weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $114 to a top of $135. Carcase prices ranged from 467-539c/kg, averaging almost 505c/kg.  The best covered hoggets sold from $86-$110.

Horsham lambs lose $5

At the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 6175 lambs, 907 more than last week, and 2116 sheep, 135 more.

The NLRS said an average quality lamb yarding was offered to the usual buyers. With the quality more mixed, most lambs generally sold to a downward trend to be up to $5 back on last week.

Heavy lambs reached a top of $160 and the best trade weight lambs made to $136.50. Lighter lambs sold close to firm and a little dearer in places as processors and restockers competed keenly. Restockers paid mostly from $96-$116 and-$71 for lighter lots.

Light weight 2 score lambs sold from $70-$88. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $93-$115 and averaged around 540c/kg cwt. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $115-$124, with the heavier drafts making $120-$136.50, or 510-550c/kg cwt to average around 530c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $132.50-$160 and averaged around 510c/kg. Heavy hoggets sold from $82-$117.50.

Sheep sold $5-$10 easier on last week and more in places. Heavy Merino ewes sold to $100 and heavy crossbred ewes to $110. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $42-$54. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep made $44-$86, or 230-315c/kg. Merino mutton averaged around 305c/kg. Heavy 3-5 score sheep sold from $71-$110. Heavy Merino wethers sold from $81-$95 and medium weights made $61-$92, or around 300c/kg. Rams sold to $70.

Hamilton’s heavy sheep fall $7-$10

At the Hamilton saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 6586 sheep, 870 more than last week.

The NLRS said sheep quality was mixed in the Merino-dominated yarding of ewes and medium weight wethers. The offering ranged from good quality drafts down to average, plainer light sheep, with many showing some length in their fleeces. Most of the usual buyers attended, but were more selective than past weeks, in a subdued market overall.

There was less demand for the heavier sheep, which sold $7-$10 cheaper. Medium weights were also back $4-$5, while light mutton remained unchanged. There was limited restocker competition, with a small pen of ewes selling for $79 and three rams making $78. Very light 1 score sheep sold from $14-$40 and the 1 and 2 score light weights made $37-$68. Medium weight 2 and 3 scores sold from $60-$76, or 229-322c/kg cwt, averaging an estimated 290c/kg. Heavy 3-4 score weight mutton made from $72-$89 and averaged close to 255c/kg. Medium weight Merino wethers made $70-$95, with a heavier draft selling to $105, averaging between 310-315c/kg. Hoggets sold to $109 and rams of all breeds sold from $44-$78.

Katanning’s trade lambs sell to $115

In Western Australia at the Katanning saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 7000 lambs, 1800 more than last week, and 7673 sheep, 1284 fewer.

The NLRS said it was mixed quality yarding. Well-presented lines sold to strong competition, with graziers bidding on the store lines.

Light weight lambs sold from $41-$88, depending on condition, and the trade weights made from $85-$115. Lambs suitable for airfreight sold for $67-$91. Light weights and immature new season store crossbred lambs sold to restockers and feeders from $30 up to $100 for the better framed lines. Merino store lambs sold from $15 for light plain lambs up to $78 for better quality lambs.

Restockers paid from $15-$72 for young Merino ewes, depending on quality. Young wethers sold to restockers and feeders from $40 for lightweights up to $94 for the better quality lines. Good lines of quality mutton sold well to finish $2 up on last week.

Light ewes sold from $15-$55. Better 3 score mutton, with a 5cm fleece, made $56-$97. Light and plain wethers sold to restockers and feeders for $43 and quality lines made up to $94. Wethers sold to processors for $55-$95. Young rams sold up to $98 to restockers and old ram made $5-$20 with processors.

Warwick sheep and lambs sell firm

At the Warwick saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 1474 lambs and hoggets, and 512 sheep.

The market was quoted as firm on last week’s rates for all descriptions in the smaller yarding of sheep and lambs. The top-priced pen of 58.2kg lwt lambs sold for $152 for the Elsley Pastoral Company of ‘Kanara’, Yelarbon.

Crossbred lambs 46-55kg lwt sold from $118-$129, the 42-45kg lambs made $113-$120.50, 36-42kg lines sold for $101-$108 and the 35-40kg lines made $89-$99.50.

Shorn crossbred hoggets 51.6kg lwt sold to $72.50. Heavy crossbred ewes with $8 skins sold to $79, or 295c/kg cwt, and light ewes with $5 skins made to $50, or 240c/kg.

Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.

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