NEW season lamb prices continued to fall and old lamb drafts were discounted further at most eastern states saleyards mid-week.
The National Livestock Reporting Service said secondary condition old lambs were heavily discounted in some saleyards and there was weaker competition among domestic processors.
In New South Wales, new season trade weight lamb prices were up to $9 lower, heavy lambs were quoted up to $15 cheaper and some extra heavy drafts at Wagga were $28 cheaper. Young and old lambs were up to $10 cheaper in Victorian saleyards.
Light new season lambs with $2-$6 skins sold for $80-$117, or 481-739c/kg, in New South Wales. The 18.1-22kg trade weight young lambs with $4-$6 skins made $106-$151.20, or 505-681c/kg. The 22.1-24kg new season lambs with $5-$6 skins at Wagga on Thursday sold for $144-$164.20, or 583-659c/kg. Heavier young lambs with $6 skins made $155-$163, or 596-628c/kg.
In Victoria at Horsham on Wednesday, light 12.1-18kg new season lambs with $5 skins made $88-$114, or 519-606c/kg. The 18.1-22kg young lambs with $1-$6 skins sold for $118-$148, or 596-644c/kg, and the 22.1-24kg lambs with $7 skins made $146-$160, or 579-644c/kg. Heavy 24.1-26kg new season lambs with $7 skins sold from $152-$176, or 580-650c/kg.
In Queensland and Western Australia, new season lambs sold firm to dearer. At Katanning on Wednesday, light new season lambs with skins valued at up to $6 sold for $31-$100, or 193-553c/kg. The young light/medium trade lambs with skins valued at up to $6 made $100-$119, or 473-532c/kg. Heavy young trade lambs, 22.1-24kg, with $6 skins made $115-$120, or 474-475c/kg, and some 24.1-26kg lambs with $6 skins sold for $125, or 458c/kg.
NLRS indicators in free fall
After Thursday’s saleyard sales, the NLRS Eastern States Daily Indicators for the lamb categories are: restocker 590c/kg, down 23 cents; Merino 517c/kg, down 10c; light 537c/kg, down 12c; trade 596c/kg, down 8c; heavy 602c/kg, down 11c. The national trade lamb indicator fell 9 cents to 549c/kg and the heavy indice is on 603c/kg, down 12 cents.
The ESDI and national mutton indicators closed up 3 cents to 390c/kg.
Carcoar’s trade lambs cheaper
In New South Wales at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange at Carcoar on Wednesday, the agents yarded 5700 lambs, 1400 fewer than last week, and 2150 sheep, 400 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality declined, with only some lambs in good condition and remainder tending to lack finish. There were mainly light and trade weight lambs, with a few heavy weights and new season lines. Not all buyers operated and competition was easier, resulting in a cheaper trend particularly on the old grades lacking finish.
Trade weight new season lambs sold cheaper at $122-$135 and averaged 620c/kg cwt.
Light weight old lambs were $8-$12 cheaper and averaged around $90. Medium and heavy trade weight lambs were $10 cheaper and averaged 550c/kg. Most of the better trade weights made $120-$130. Heavy weight lambs were $5-$15 cheaper and mostly sold from 570-615c/kg. A few pens of extra heavy weight lambs made $170-$210.
Sheep quality was mixed. Medium Merino ewes were firm to slightly dearer at $85-$100, or 390-405c/kg. Medium weight wethers sold $8 cheaper, with 3 score lines making $82-$95 and averaging 390c/kg.
Wagga’s new season trade lambs drop $6-$9
At the Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 30,050 lambs, 2950 fewer than last week, and 1670 sheep, 670 more.
The NLRS said the yarding included 3000 new season lambs. Old lamb quality was mixed, with most in secondary condition, resulting in some being heavily discounted. Most export and domestic buyers attended, but export demand was sporadic and not all companies operated fully. There was some restocker competition from two states operating in the market over young lamb categories.
New season lambs sold to weaker demand, with bidding from major domestic buyers erratic at times, as some pens lacked fat cover. New season trade lambs generally sold up to $6-$9 cheaper. Lambs ranging from 22-24kg cwt made $128-$164, averaging 625c/kg.
Old trade lamb prices were very erratic, causing big price variations in some classes. Shorter wooled trade lambs attracted the strongest bidding and prices dropped significantly for full wool types lacking finish. The better finished old lambs sold for $112-$155.
Heavy lambs sold to fluctuating price trends due to their plainer quality. Heavy lambs were $11 cheaper and averaged 607c/kg. Extra heavy lambs were in shorter supply and the limited competition caused prices to fluctuate. Extra heavy lamb prices generally fell $11, with lambs over 30kg cwt selling $28 cheaper to average 583c/kg.
The mixed quality offering of sheep had fewer heavy lines. Heavy cross bred ewes averaged 340c/kg, easing $9. Heavy Merino ewes were keenly sought and prices were unchanged at $103-$142.20. Trade sheep eased $3-$4 to average 350-400c/kg.
Hamilton’s trade lambs slip $5-$10
In Victoria at the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 1231 lambs, 1563 fewer than last week, and 811 sheep, 322 less.
The NLRS said lamb quality was mixed, with limited selection of all weight and grades. Not all of the small field of buyers operated.
Demand was generally unchanged for the light weight old lambs and the light, medium and heavy trade weight lambs sold $5-$10 cheaper and slightly more in places. A restocker from Stawell paid $45-$68 for Merino lambs and a local agent purchased a pen of well-bred Merino wethers for $116. Light weight 2 score old lambs sold to processors for $69-$92, averaging close to 520c/kg. Light 2 and 3 score trade weight lambs made $88-$106, averaging an estimated 550c/kg. Medium trade weight 3 score lambs sold from $102-$135, or 520-600c/kg to average 580c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs estimated to weigh 25-28kg made $150-$158.
Demand for sheep was steady, with prices firm to $4 dearer. The yarding included some good quality lines. More than 20 per cent of the yarding was average quality 2-4 score crossbred ewes. Light weight sheep sold from $45-$80 and medium trade weight mutton made $60-$94. Merino mutton averaged close to 390c/kg. Heavier crossbred 3 and 4 score ewes sold from $98-$115, or around 350c/kg. The better covered 3 and 4 score Merino wethers sold from $93-$113, averaging 405c/kg. The 2 and 3 score rams of all breeds sold from $74-$126.
Horsham’s young lambs sell $10 cheaper
At the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 3693 lambs, 1474 more than last week, and 3522 sheep, 1445 more.
The NLRS said the yarding included 1600 young lambs. The usual buyers attended, plus some extra competition.
New season lamb quality was good and the heavier trade weights made $146-$160. Heavy young lambs sold to $176, down $10 on last week, at 620-630c/kg. Old lambs reached $145 and the trade weights sold from $128-$141, also down on last week’s levels.
Restockers paid $96-$99 for young lambs Light weight 2 score young lambs sold-$88. Lighter trade 3 score young lambs sold from $104-$114 and averaged 590c/kg. Trade weight 3 and 4 score young lambs made $136-$160, or 580-660c/kg to average 630c/kg. Heavy 4 score young lambs sold from $152-$176 at around 620c/kg. Trade weight old lambs made $128-$141 and the lighter trade weights sold from $96-$120.
The sheep yarding comprised all weights and grades, and quality was good. Sheep generally sold either side of firm with heavy shorn Merino wethers making $121. Restockers paid $84-$108 for Merino ewes, $120 for joined crossbred ewes and from $69-$90.50 for shorn Merino wethers.
Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $55-$80. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep made $64-$115, or 300-420c/kg. Merino mutton averaged around 405c/kg. Heavy 3-5 score crossbred sheep sold from $85-$110 and heavy Merino ewes made $96-$120. Medium weight Merino wethers sold $80 and averaged around 380-390c/kg.
Katanning lamb prices lift for new season lines
In Western Australia at the Katanning saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 2471 lambs, 471 more than last week, and 2000 sheep, 1214 fewer.
The NLRS said prices eased for old season lambs, but lifted for quality with the new season drop coming in. New season light lambs made $30-$100, trade weights sold for $97-$119 and heavy weights made $115-$125. Old season light weight lambs sold from $50-$65. Lambs suitable for air freight made $81-$100. Trade weight lambs sold from $90-$120. Crossbred lambs sold feeders made $31-$71. Merino store lambs made from $43 for light weights up to $61 for the better framed lambs.
Sheep quality was mixed, but prices gained on last week, with light ewes with full fleeces making $65-$80. Young blue tag ewes sold from $55-$107. Light ewes sold to slaughter made $55-$76 and prime three score mutton sold from $83-$107.
Wether prices eased this week, with processors paying $37-$115 and restockers and feeder buyers $38-$95, depending on frame. Ram lambs sold for $53-$110, depending on size, and older rams made $20-$58, depending on age.
Warwick’s best lambs sell firm
In Queensland at the Warwick saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 2027 lambs and hoggets, and 342 sheep.
The better quality lambs sold firm and the lighter lambs were slightly cheaper. The sheep market was cheaper. The top-priced lambs made $168, for Cunnamulla producers S.C. and P. Barkla of ‘Rosscoe Downs’.
Crossbred lambs 51-55kg lwt sold from $146-$157, the 46-50kg lambs made $134-$147, the 41-45kg lines sold for $126-$137 and 35-40kg lambs sold from $112-$121.
Shorn crossbred hoggets weighing 55kg lwt sold to $106. Trade wethers with $9 skins sold to $99, or 305c/kg cwt, and light wethers with $3 skins made to $58, or 290c/kg.
Heavy crossbred ewes with $8 skins sold to $122, or 300c/kg, and light ewes with $5 skins made to $63, or 275c/kg.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.