QUALITY trade and heavy new season lamb prices held generally firm at 550-640c/kg in New South Wales saleyards on Friday as producers offered more heavier lines and old lamb drafts dropped off in number and finish.
About 93 per cent of Cowra’s 7155 lambs were new season drafts on Friday, and just under half of Griffith’s 12,300 lambs were suckers, but domestic processor buyers showed a distinct preference for finished lines above 18kg cwt to ensure desired yields.
The National Livestock Reporting Service quoted Griffith’s lightest new season lambs up to 12kg cwt, with $6 skins, as selling from $63-$73, or 670-713c/kg cwt. The 12.1-18kg lines with $8-$9 skins made $87-$118, or 527-644c/kg. The 22.1-26kg lines with $1-$12 skins made $144-$168, or 592-639c/kg, and the extra heavy 26.1-30kg drafts with $12 skins sold from $170-$172, or 585-593c/kg.
At Cowra, the 12.1-18kg new season drafts with $5-$9 skins sold from $75-$119, or 447-631c/kg, and the 18.1-22kg trade weights with $9-$12 skins made $122-$144, or 564-611c/kg. The 22.1-26kg lines with $10-$12 skins sold from $144-$162, or 550-613c/kg, and the 26.1-30kg lines with $12 skins ranged from $164-$172, or 563-574c/kg.
In Victoria at the Shepparton saleyards, in a limited offering of average quality new season lambs, the 12.1-18kg drafts with $2-$6 skins sold from $71-$100, or 493-565c/kg. The trade weight suckers with $5-$6 skins made $110-$126, or 535-585c/kg, and the 22.1-22kg drafts with $6-$11 skins sold from $140.50-$149, or 585-611c/kg.
NLRS restocker indicator improves
The NLRS Eastern States Daily Indicators finished last week lower for all lamb categories except restocker lambs on Friday.
After Friday’s saleyard sales, the lamb ESDIs, and their daily and weekly changes, are: restocker 550c/kg, up 8 cents, up 8c; Merinos 518c/kg, down 1c, down 11c; light 539c/kg, down 3c, down 3c; trade 578c/kg, down 1c, down 10c, and; heavy 585c/kg, down 2c, down 9c. The national trade lamb indicator closed down 1 cent at 578c/kg and the heavy lamb indice is at 583c/kg, down 2c.
The ESDI for mutton was firm on Friday at 368c/kg, but down 6 cents for the week. The national mutton indicator finished on 367c/kg, up 1 cent.
AuctionsPlus lists more ewes with lambs
The number of sheep and lambs listed on AuctionsPlus increased by more than 3000 to 36,893 last week. Queensland listings lifted by 9000 head to 13,774 sheep and lambs.
AuctionsPlus market operations officer Anna Adams said quality young breeders were the highlight of the week’s sales. First cross ewes sold to $185 and Merino ewes with lambs made to $204.
The first cross ewe lambs offered averaged $162, with a top price of $186 for unjoined 10-12 month-old first cross lambs weighing 53.8kg at Trangie. First cross maiden ewes ranged from $150-$185, with the top price paid for 13-14 month old July shorn ewes (53.2kg lwt) at Padthaway. south-east South Australia.
Large offerings of older ewes are hitting the market as their lambs are being weaned off. Older Merino ewes made $64-$130 to average $93. The top price was for unjoined 4-5 year-old late February shorn Wallaloo Park blood proven breeders out of Victoria, which reared 120pc of lamb this year. Younger 3-4 year old ewes averaged $134, while a large offering of young ewes ranged from $90-$154. The top price was paid for a line of 228 unjoined two year-old Merino ewes and for 132 unjoined three year-old ewes, all late February shorn, Wallaloo Park blood and two months off rearing 120pc lambs. A line of 165 unjoined 2.5-7 year-old late October shorn Egelabra blood Merino ewes with 200 Egelabra blood lambs made a top price of $204.
Merino wether lambs averaged $68, while older 3-9 year-old wethers sold from $46 to a top price of $61 for some Barcaldine Downs blood wethers weighing 42kg lwt from Winton, Queensland.
Ms Adams said prices improved slightly for the 5531 store lambs offered last week. Lighter 27-28kg lwt lambs averaged $79 and 36-40kg first and second cross lambs sold for $104-$117. The heaviest lambs offered were unshorn first cross mixed sex lambs weighing 42kg at Burren Junction which sold for the top price of $125.
Griffith lamb prices steady
In New South Wales at the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 12,300 lambs, 2700 more than last week, and 3000 sheep, 700 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality reduced slightly, with more drier and plainer lambs. The usual buyers competed in a fairly steady market. There were 6000 new season lambs penned.
Light lambs eased $2 to $114-$118. Trade weights held firm at $122-$148. Heavy and extra heavy weight lambs also held steady at $150-$172. Carcase prices averaged 613c/kg. Old light lambs eased $2 to $103-$113. Trade weights sold firm at $114-$148. Heavy lambs eased $3 to $145-$155. Extra heavy weight lambs held steady at $150-$203. Carcase prices ranged from 588-613c/kg.
The sheep were mostly Merinos and quality was mixed. Prices remained similar to previous sales, with Merino ewes selling from $75-$124. Crossbreds ranged from $80-$125 and Dorper ewes sold from $92-$103. Merino wethers ranged from $92-$104.
Cowra’s extra heavy suckers firm to $3 dearer
At the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 7155 lambs, 445 fewer than last week, and 1040 sheep, 370 more.
The NLRS said lamb numbers lifted with the new season offering increasing to 6600. There was a limited supply of older lambs. Quality was very good, particularly for the heavy grades with extra weight offered. Mainly heavy weights were penned, along with trade weights and a reasonable supply of store lambs. All the buyers operated and competition was solid, resulting in a generally firm market, except for the extra heavy lambs which were dearer.
Light new season lambs sold $6 dearer to restockers to average $93.20, while light lambs sold firm to processors and averaged $116. Medium and heavy trade weight new season lambs were firm to $1 cheaper at 586-591c/kg cwt. Most of the better heavy trade weights sold from $135-$143. Heavy new seasons were firm to $3 dearer in places and ranged from 570-585c/kg. A couple of pens of extra heavy weight new season lambs with an estimated carcass weight of 28-29kg topped at $172.60. Heavy old lambs were firm at 544-579c/kg or $135-$159.
Mutton quality was mixed with mainly ewes were yarded. Medium Merino ewes averaged $72 or 344c/kg cwt. Heavy first cross ewes were $4 dearer and averaged $116 or 345c/kg.
Shepparton lambs firm to dearer
In Victoria at the Shepparton saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 900 lambs, 245 more than last week, and 900 sheep, 400 more.
The NLRS said quality remained very mixed, with many small and odd pen lots still coming through as final drafts of old lambs are sold. The core group of regular buyers attended and prices were firm to dearer than a week ago, but this is based on limited quotes.
The market reached a top of $180 for a pen of heavy export lambs estimated to have a carcase weight of about 30kg. There was only a limited selection of new season lambs and quality was average, with most showing signs of dryness. Two pens of neater trade weight lambs, weighing an estimated 22-23kg cwt, sold for $140 and $149. Lighter weight young lambs generally sold from $92.50-$112, with one small pen selling to restockers at $71. The quality and finish of old season lambs was very mixed and the lower carcase prices were mainly for odd lots of a few head. The few better drafts of trade and export weight slaughter lambs sold from $122-$166, with just the one sale of extra heavy exports to $180. On a carcase basis prices showed a wide range, with the better types of lambs making from 550-600c/kg.
The sheep sale was dearer, most noticeably for plainer conditioned and light weight mutton. Heavy crossbred ewes sold from $90-$121. The general run of trade and light sheep sold from $60-$88.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.