Elders and Landmark yarded about 5500 new season lambs, 75 percent of which were described as prime killable trade weight and heavy suckers.
Elders Murray Bridge agent Phil Nagel said the 18-25kg lambs sold up to $156, but good fresh suckers mostly sold from $136-$148 or 560-600c/kg cwt to a range of processor and butcher buyers.
“Despite our dry season it was probably the best quality yarding for that early sale we’ve had in years.”
Thomas Foods International bought 2500 lambs, but other main buyers included the Australian Lamb Company, Frew Meats, Austral Meat, Safeway and local butchers.
Lighter and store lambs under 18kg cwt sold strongly to SA restockers from $65-$100 or an estimated 290-320c/kg liveweight.
“There were a lot of store buyers there, but a lot of them went home with nothing.”
Elders top pen of February drop White Suffolk cross lambs from Binnowie Downs at Coonalpyn made $156 and were estimated at 26kg cwt.
Landmark agent Kev Keller said the lambs sold really well, from the lighter trade through to the export weights. Some of the lighter trade lines sold slightly better than current hook rates, he said.
“There was a lot of restocker interest, which means well for the future, doesn’t it?”
Mr Keller said some of the lighter lambs were showing the effects of the “suffering” season in the Mallee.
“Vendors seemed pretty pleased with the whole sale.”
Landmark clients Kevin and Nita Kennett from Brinkley sold White Suffolk cross lambs for $137 with an estimated carcase weight of 21kg.
Around 10,000 lambs are expected at the next sale on August 24.
“I think the quality will still be there,” Mr Nagel said.
TFI national livestock manager Paul Leonard said the Murray Bridge lambs were generally very good quality with most going to the trade.
“They were tight in the skins, very sappy and this is only the first pull.
“If they are an indication of the new season lambs that we expect to get on our contract, particularly in the September period, I would say we are going to be receiving some very, very good quality lambs with above average weights, compared to the last couple of years.”