Lamb prices closed on firm rates in saleyards and on AuctionsPlus last week with buyers paying up to 528c/kg for store lambs.
The National Livestock Reporting Service quoted the Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator unchanged at 467c/kg cwt after Friday’s sales and the heavy lamb indice firm at 466c/kg cwt.
Only mutton prices failed to make gains nationally last week, with all lamb category rates lifting. The biggest weekly gains were made in the Merino, trade and heavy lamb categories. Mutton rates lost 16c/kg cwt in the past week.
On Friday, the national lamb indicators with daily and weekly changes were: restocker 470c/kg cwt, down 4 cents, up 1c; Merino 388c/kg, down 1c, up 11c; light 439c/kg, no change, up 4c; trade 466c/kg, nc, up 7c; heavy 466c/kg, nc, up7c.
Bidding strong for lambs on AuctionsPlus
AuctionsPlus market operations supervisor Anna Adams said sheep and lamb listings continued to slow last week, dropping 7046 to 40,756. About 60 percent of the week’s listings were lambs, with good numbers of store lambs from SA and Victorian.
Bidding remained strong for lambs on AuctionsPlus with light lambs weighing 26-28kg liveweight making from $49-$66 and the 32-34kg lwt lambs selling for $72-$80.
First cross Border Leicester/Merino wether lambs with a 1.5’’ skin from Merrygoen in NSW made to $80 and lambs weighing 36-38kg lwt averaged $78. Second cross White Suffolk & Poll Dorset mixed sex lambs from Murray Bridge in SA made to $87.50.
The heaviest lines of store lambs at 39-43kg lwt sold from $80-$95.50, equivalent to 455c to 528c/kg dressed weight as gauged by the assessors. Most bids came from southern NSW and Victorian restockers. Consignments included lambs from Broken Hill and Wellington in NSW, now heading south.
Merino wethers and wether lambs drew bidding from both processors and restockers, Ms Adams said. Wether lamb numbers were similar to the previous week and prices rose by $8-$12. A line of six-month-old Hazeldean and Centreplus blood lambs with a 1.5’’ skin from Boorowa topped the Merino lamb sales at $63. Wether hoggets with a half inch skin cleared from $65.50-$67.
Merino ewe prices continued to follow on from last week. Young ewes sold from $75-$110, with older mixed aged unjoined ewes making to $80.
Best trade lambs $3 dearer at Cowra
In NSW at the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 9450 lambs, 1460 fewer than last week, and 2700 sheep, 1250 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was mixed with the yarding comprising well-finished lambs in top condition and more secondary drier lambs. Mainly trade and heavy weight lambs were penned, with more store lambs. All the usual buyers operated, except for one, and competition was good, resulting in a firm to slightly dearer market.
Light lambs to the processors held firm and sold from $84-$92, while store lambs made $40-$98, averaging $89 for most of the better grades. Medium and heavy trade weight new season lambs sold firm to $3 dearer and averaged from 471c/kg-478c/kg cwt. Most of the heavy trade weights sold from $105-$112. Heavy weight new season lambs were firm to slightly dearer and averaged from 457c/kg-463c/kg cwt. A few pens sold from $125-$135.
Mutton numbers increased considerably and quality was good. Heavy first cross ewes were $3-$9 cheaper and averaged from $67-$80 or 240c/kg-253c/kg cwt. Heavy 4 score wethers were $6 cheaper and averaged $79, or 292c/kg cwt.
Light and trade lambs $3 cheaper at Griffith
At the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 3354 lambs, 146 fewer than last week, and 970 sheep, 1980 fewer.
The NLRS said lamb quality was similar to previous sales, with well-finished and plainer lambs penned. There were more Dorper lambs available. Not all the usual buyers attended and the market was cheaper.
Light new season lambs eased $3, selling from $81-$84, while trade weights were also $3 easier, to average $107.
Heavy lambs sold from $117-$122, while extra heavy weight lambs made $126-$132. Carcase prices ranged from 450c/kg-470c/kg cwt. Trade and heavyweight Dorper lambs made from $91-$115. Old trade weight lambs sold from $82-$101. Heavy lambs made from $106-$116, while extra heavy weights sold from $120-$142.
The sheep were mostly Merinos and quality was again mixed. Prices slipped $6-$8. Merino ewes made from $74-$88, while crossbred ewes sold from $71-$83.
Lambs lift $3-$5 at Shepparton
In Victoria at the Shepparton saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 5300 lambs, 350 more than last week, and 990 sheep, 960 fewer.
Competition for lambs was keener but sheep prices fell before the usual processors and some extra restocker enquiry. Lambs were generally $3-$5 dearer with some restocking sales more, while sheep mainly sold $5-$10 cheaper. Lamb quality was average to good and these included light and store lambs through to the heavy export weights, up to an estimated 27kg.
The light weight 2 score lambs made $60-$80, with restocking lambs from $54-$93. The lighter trade weight 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $72-$93 with restockers paying $83-$92. The medium to heavy trade weight 3 score lambs made $90-$117 and ranged from 450c/kg-500c/kg cwt. The heavy 3 and 4 score export lambs made from $119-$133 and averaged 470c/kg cwt.
The sheep were mostly medium to extra heavy weight ewes. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep made $35-$58 with the odd poor quality line at $10. The medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep sold from $45-$75 and the heavy to extra heavy weights made $65-$77. A run of 2 to 4 score ewes averaged an estimated 260c/kg cwt. The few rams sold from $25-$45 with restockers paying to $52.
Source: NLRS, AuctionsPlus.