STRONG demand for light export and restocking lambs continued in saleyards mid-week.
But with some trade and export processor buyers not needing to supplement direct supplies or bidding less for the quality offered, prices for trade weight and export lambs fluctuated firm to cheaper across the markets.
In New South Wales at Carcoar and Wagga, light new season lambs 12.1-18kg cwt with $4-$8 skins made from $70-$111, or 440-569c/kg. But with restocker and exporters competing in the same weight range, some lines made up to 650c/kg at Carcoar and to 660c/kg at Wagga.
Similar weight lambs in Mt Gambier with $2-$6 skins made $8-$116, or 520-743c/kg. In Victoria, the 12-18kg lambs with $1-$8 skins sold from $64-$104, or 414-608c/kg, with restockers paying up to 660c/kg.
Light and medium 18.1-22kg trade new season lambs in NSW with $8-$11 skins made $101-$134, or 491-571c/kg mid-week, with the few heavier lines with skins valued at $10-$12 selling from $118-$144.60, or 465-558c/kg.
In Victorian and South Australian saleyards, light and medium trade new season lambs with $2-$8 skins sold from $98-$123, or 484-579c/kg. Heavier lines with $3-$10 skins made $124-$154, or $124-$154, or 497-567c/kg.
NLRS indicators falling
After Thursday’s saleyards sales the National Livestock Reporting Service’s Eastern States Daily Indicators for lamb were: restocker 553c/kg, down 5c; Merino 484c/kg, down 6c; light 529c/kg, up 1c; trade 536c/kg, down 6c; heavy 535c/kg, down 6c. The national trade and heavy lamb indicators closed at 542c/kg.
The ESDI for mutton gained 2 cents to close on 312c/kg and the national indicator is on 311c/kg.
Carcoar’s trade slump $12-$14
In New South Wales at Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange at Carcoar on Wednesday, the agents yarded 7800 lambs, 1700 more than last week, and 4500 sheep, 1250 fewer.
The NLRS said it was a pretty good quality yarding, with some good runs of heavy weight and trade weight lambs and a fair selection of lambs suited to restockers. Not all the regular buyers operated in the cheaper market.
Light lambs sold to processors were $4 cheaper, with the 12-18kg cwt 2 scores making from $50-$93. Trade lambs sold $12-$14 cheaper, with some lambs returning home to the paddock. The 18-23kg 3 score new season lambs sold from $103-$130, to average 500c/kg cwt. Heavy weight lambs were $13 cheaper, with the over 22kg 4 scores making $114-$176, to average around 525c/kg. Restocker lambs were $2-$5 cheaper at $73-$111. Trade weight Merino lambs sold to $109 and hoggets to $112.
Most weights and grades were represented in the mixed yarding of mutton. Light and medium weight ewes and wethers were $1-$3 cheaper and heavier weight sheep were firm. The 2 score ewes sold from $29-$65, while the better 3 and 4 score crossbreds made $55-$94 and the Merinos made to $89. Properly finished Merino wethers sold to $99.
Wagga’s light slaughter lambs lift $8
At the Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 26,000, 10,000 fewer than last week, and 10,000 sheep, 1000 less.
The NLRS said lamb quality slipped. There were reasonable numbers of light, medium and heavy trade weight lambs. The market lacked the intensity of last week, with prices fluctuating as the market progressed.
Shorn trade lambs sold $5-$8 cheaper, mostly from 530-540c/kg cwt. Lighter weight lambs suitable to restock or feed on sold to solid competition, making from $79-$108. Plainer light weight lambs suitable for slaughter sold up to $8 dearer.
Heavy and extra heavy lamb numbers dropped considerably and the export market lacked the weight of the previous market, with only limited numbers over 30kg cwt. Heavy lambs sold $9 cheaper at $140-$153. Prices for extra heavy lambs dropped $7-$12 to $144-$186.60, mainly making 510c-522c/kg.
The very mixed quality offering of mutton comprised all weights and grades. Heavy ewes made from $78-$105 to mostly range from 274-287c/kg. Light and medium grades sold from $38-$92 and medium weights mainly made 256-290c/kg.
Hamilton’s trade lambs up to $8 cheaper
In Victoria at the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 9128 lambs, 5390 fewer than last week.
The NLRS said lamb quality was very mixed, with no extra heavy weight lambs. The best covered lambs suitable for the trade were off summer crops and supplementary fed. Overall there was significantly less weight in the lambs. The usual buyers attended, but not all were operating fully, with some only observing the market.
The sale showed an easier trend with the heavy and medium trade weight lambs ideal for slaughter mostly $3-$6 cheaper and some up to $8 cheaper.
Lighter lambs were unchanged, with very light weights $4-$6 dearer due to strong competition from restockers. Store buyers from South Australia and locally paid $44-$85 for very light lambs and $74-$101 for better quality 2 and 3 scores, or 538-620c/kg. Processor demand for light lambs remained high and they paid $85-$106 for 2 scores. Light trade weight lambs sold from $104-$123 and medium trade 3 score lambs made $125-$137, with costs ranging from 495-582c/kg to average an estimated 540c/kg. Very good drafts of heavy trade lambs, 3 and 4 score, weighing 24-26kg sold from $137-$141 and averaged around 536c/kg. The best of the hoggets sold from $102-$114, or around 390c/kg.
Horsham’s trade lambs firm to $5 easier
At the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 7141 lambs, 421 more than last week, and 1277 sheep, 787 more.
The NLRS said the usual buyers were offered an average to good quality lamb yarding containing fewer heavy weights but some well-presented heavier trade weights off feed.
Heavy lambs reached a top of $160. Better covered domestic trade weight lambs sold firm, but the plainer types were $2-$5 easier. Heavy lambs generally sold $5-$10 down on last week. Restockers paid from $70-$112. Some good runs of Merino lambs sold from $96-$120.
Light weight 2 score lambs sold from $75-$89. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs made $88-$114.50, to average around 530c/kg. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $108-$131 and heavier drafts made $124-$140, or 490-580c/kg to average around 535c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $134-$160.
All weights and grades of sheep were yarded. Sheep generally sold firm to a few dollars dearer, with near-full wool Merino ewes making $104. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $53-$77. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep sold from $52-$95 and ranged from 250-340c/kg. Merino mutton averaged around 310c/kg. Heavy 3-5 score crossbred sheep sold from $78-$100.50. Heavy Merino ewes sold from $93-$104 and heavy Merino wethers made $76-$82. Rams sold from $30-$83.
Ouyen’s export lambs down $5
At the Ouyen saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 12,907 lambs and 1995 sheep.
Prices for heavy export lambs were $5 cheaper, while trade and lighter weight lambs sold firm. Mutton prices were slightly dearer.
Export weight crossbred lambs made $144-$174, or 510-530c/kg, and trade weights sold from $116- $146, or 520-540c/kg. Store lambs sold from $88- $110. Light Merino lambs made $63-$107 and the heavy drafts sold from $106-$132, or 470-490c/kg.
Light sheep made $14-$74 and the heavy lines sold from $75-$106, or 260-300c/kg.
Hamilton sheep $2-$7 dearer
At the Hamilton saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 12,165 sheep, 6772 fewer than last week.
The NLRS said there was a fall in quality, with more light weight sheep. There were still some good quality line-ups of Merino and crossbred ewes, with some drafts of heavy and medium Merino wethers that provided interest and created competition. The regular sheep buyers followed the sale and prices remained steady in a stronger market.
Heavy sheep were $4-$6 dearer, medium weights $2-$7 better and lighter lines sold $4-$7 dearer. Restocker activity was limited to a few pens from local agents and they paid $61 for young wethers and $76 for crossbred ewes.
Very light 1 score sheep made $40-$57 and the 2 scores sold from $53-$64. Medium weight 2 and 3 scores sold from $64-$86 and the better drafts of 3 score mutton made $80-$96, or an estimated 267-317c/kg, to average 300c/kg. Heavy 4 score crossbred ewes made from $98-$107. Medium weight Merino wethers sold from $63-$79. Woolly wethers made to $92 and heavier 3 and 4 score lines sold from $88-$110, or to 318c/kg cwt on average. The 2 and 3 score rams sold from $52-$73 and a pen of full wool Merino rams made $95. Best hoggets sold from $90-$114.
Mt Gambier’s trade lambs hold firm
In South Australia at the Mt Gambier saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 1483 lambs, 577 fewer than last week, and 307 sheep, 434 less.
The NLRS said a similar quality lamb yarding was offered to a small field of processors and some restockers.
Light lambs sold to the trade made $82-$110 and restockers paid $80-$107. Light weight trade 2 and 3 score lambs ranged from $107-$116. Trade weight 3 score lambs sold firm at $112-$123, averaging 540c/kg cwt. Heavy 4 score lambs sold from $130-$144, with a few extra heavy export weights making to $154.
Hoggets sold to $92. Light weight ewes sold to $60 and heavier ewes made $86-$95.
Katanning market firm
In Western Australia at the Katanning saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 5000 lambs, 1033 more than last week, and 6611 sheep, 2611 more.
The NLRS said a mixed quality sheep and lambs sold firm, with the well-presented lines selling to strong competition. All the usual buyers attended and graziers bid on store lines.
Light weight lambs sold from $60-$72 and the trade weights made $70-$100. Heavy weights made from $107-$110. Lambs suitable for airfreight sold for $65-$92. Light and immature store crossbred lambs sold to restockers and feeders from $15, up to $85 for better quality lines. Light Merino store lambs sold from $25-$75. Restockers paid from $20 for plain light store young Merino ewes up to $76 for the better quality lines. Young light wethers made $27, up to $89 for the better quality lots.
Mutton quality was mixed, with lighter ewes making $25-$55. Light ewes sold to slaughter made $36-$59 and better 3 score mutton with a 5cm fleece made $52-$93. Restockers paid $25-$67 for Merino ewes depending on quality. Light plain older wethers sold to restockers and feeders for $20 and better quality lines made up to $95. Wethers sold to live export for $88. Processors paid $100 for young rams and $5-$10 for old rams. Feeders and graziers paid from $20 for light rams up to $87 for the better heavier rams.
Warwick lambs sell to $149
In Queensland at the Warwick saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 1021 lambs and hoggets, and 169 sheep.
In a smaller yarding of sheep and lambs, the market was fully firm on last week’s rates, with the top-priced lambs weighing 61.8kg lwt making $149 for Texas producers J.T. & S.K. McManus of ‘Oak Park’.
Crossbred lambs weighing 46-55kg lwt sold from $124-$136, the 42-45kg lambs made $114-$126, 36-42kg lambs sold for $102-$110 and 35-40kg lines ranged from $98-$106. Shorn crossbred hoggets 39.5kg lwt sold to $102.
Trade wethers with $10 skins sold to $95, or 310c/kg, and light wethers with $8 skins made to $55, or 280c/kg. Heavy crossbred ewes with $3 skins made to $85, or 300c/kg, and light ewes with $5 skins sold to $53, or 260c/kg.
Northern Tasmania offers few quality trade and heavy lambs
At the northern Tasmanian saleyards at Powranna and Killafaddy on Tuesday, the agents yarded 650 lambs, 600 fewer than last week, and 800 sheep, 400 less.
The NLRS said few good quality trade and heavy lambs were yarded, most light and light trade lines.
Light and light trade lambs made $86-$90, with most destined for the Middle East market. Restockers paid $77-$87 for well-bred lambs, show a preference for shorn pens. Trade lambs made $88-$120 and heavy pens $125-$136.
Most mutton averages improved $5-$10, with most sheep in the medium weight range. Very light ewes made $34-$41, light ewes $44-$58, medium weights $51-$79 and the heavy and generally over fat lines sold from $40-$59.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.