TRADE and heavy lamb prices were overall firm in eastern states saleyards mid-week, with some improvement in restocker, Merino and light lamb rates across the country.
The trade weight and heavy new season lambs in New South Wales continued to sell at 500-659c/kg cwt, with buyers competing strongest for the lines with better skins and finish.
Old lamb prices lost ground at most centres as numbers and quality declined, and the sucker offerings increased.
At the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange on Wednesday, the 12.1-18kg new season lambs with $6-1$10 skins sold from $73-$101, or 447-547c/kg. The trade weights with $10-$11 skins made $113-$145, or 515-609c/kg, The 22.1-26kg lines with $11 skins ranged from $144-$165, or 578-592c/kg.
Wagga’s trade weight suckers with $8-$13 skins made $112-$158, or 500-659c/kg, and the 12.1-18kg lines with $5-$10 skins sold from $83.20-$114, or 578-633c/kg. Heavier 22.1-26kg lambs with $10-$13 skins made $148-$173, or 579-640c/kg.
Katanning’s trade weight new season lambs with $7 skins sold for $104-$120, or 485-514c/kg.
NLRS slaughter lamb indicators firm
After Thursday’s saleyard sales, the Eastern States Daily Indicators for the lamb categories are: restocker 556c/kg, up 5 cents; Merinos 537c/kg, up 7c; light 533c/kg, up 12c; trade 589c/kg, up 1c; heavy 595c/kg, down 1c. The national trade lambs indicator is up one cent to 589c/kg and the heavy lamb indice is firm on 595c/kg.
The ESDI for mutton is firm on 370c/kg and the national indice closed on 369c/kg.
Carcoar’s new season lambs sell firm
In New South Wales at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange at Carcoar on Wednesday, the agents yarded 6850 lambs, 600 more than last week, and 1450 sheep, 970 fewer.
The NLRS said there were good runs of heavy weights, some well-finished new season lines and a limited number of ideal trade weight old lambs.
New season lambs sold firm with the trade weights making $114-$145 and the heavier weights selling to $165. Light weight lambs were firm to $2 cheaper, with the 12-18kg cwt 2 scores selling from $40-$104. Trade weight old lambs were $3 cheaper, with the 18-22kg 3 scores making $90-$137. Heavy weight lambs were $4-$6 cheaper, with the over 22kg 4 scores selling from $134-$195. Restockers paid to $113 and hoggets sold to $122.
It was a mixed quality yarding of mutton, with most grades $2-$4 cheaper. The 2 score ewes sold from $31-$62. The better medium and heavy weight crossbred ewes made $72-$130 and the Merinos sold to $118.
Buyers seek quality lambs with fresh skins at Wagga
At the Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 23,000 lambs, 2400 fewer than last week, and 5000 sheep, 6000 less.
The NLRS said the number of new season lambs lifted to about 7000. Old lamb numbers declined and quality was quite mixed with a limited portion of the offering shorter skinned lambs off crop or supplementary fed and well-finished. A full turn-out of domestic and export buyers attended and most companies operated.
New season heavy trade lambs were in reasonable supply and regularly made from $148-$165, with bidding strongest for quality lambs with good clean skins. Light and medium weight trade lambs made from $112-$157 to average 617c/kg cwt, with buyers operating on skin values of $10-$13. Old trade lamb quality was mixed and prices were generally unchanged to a few dollars cheaper. The better finished lambs weighing 21-24kg cwt sold from $140-$166, with heavy trade lambs averaging 617c/kg. The mixed selection of heavy and extra heavy lambs sold to the regular buyers. Lambs weighing 24-26kg sold up to $3 cheaper while extra heavy lambs sold from $166-$201.20, averaging 608c/kg.
Mutton quality was very mixed, with all weights and grades represented. More of the ewes and wethers were of medium weight, with a significant portion shorn. Merino ewe mutton sold to steady demand, with prices generally unchanged to $3 cheaper. Heavy crossbred ewes were not as keenly contested and prices eased $4, averaging 363c/kg cwt. There were fewer Merino wethers and quality was not the standard of the previous sale. Most categories carried less condition and skin value resulting in a cheaper trend of $13, to average 371c/kg cwt.
Hamilton’s trade lambs sell $6-$10 cheaper
In Victoria, at the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday the agents yarded 781 lambs, 1521 fewer than last week, and 362 sheep, 2284 less.
The NLRS said it was much smaller, plainer quality yarding after Sheepvention and although most of the usual winter buyers attended, not all operated.
Light weight and medium trade weight lambs sold $6-$10 cheaper. Light weight 1 and 2 score lambs sold from $35-$96 and light trade 2 and 3 scores made $90-$108, or around 525c/kg cwt. Medium trade weight 3 and 4 scores sold from $110-$130, ranging from 535-575c/kg to average around 560c/kg. Some heavier 3 and 4 score trade lambs sold from $135-$143.
Sheep prices were generally firm to $2 easier. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep made $34-$57 and the medium weight 2 and 3 scores sold from $72-$88, to average around 360c/kg cwt. Heavy crossbred 3 and 4 score sheep sold from $92-$112. Local agents purchased young Merino wethers from $69-$78. Medium 2 and 3 score Merino wethers sold from $75-$88, or an estimated 385c/kg. The better old rams sold from $55-$84 and a pen of young rams made $100.
Horsham’s better lambs average 600c/kg
At the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 1668 lambs, 78 fewer than last week, and 2014 sheep, 1620 less.
The NLRS said fewer quality lambs were yarded. Most of the usual buyers attended, but not all operated fully.
Better lambs sold mostly unchanged to a few dollars dearer at around 600c/kg cwt. Restockers paid from $45-$49. Light weight 1 and 2 score lambs sold from $69-$96. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs made $103-$128 and averaged around 590c/kg. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $128-$153 and ranged from 550-620c/kg to average around 590c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs made $151-$168. Heavy hoggets made to $110 and Merino lambs sold from $72-$100.
Some good runs of heavy sheep were offered and ewe mutton sold to keen competition to be $5-$10 up on last week. Wethers mostly sold firm to a few dollars easier. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $54-$84. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep made $73-$112, ranging from 350-425c/kg cwt to average around 385c/kg. Heavy 3 to 5 score sheep sold from $80-$108. Heavy Merino wethers sold from $89-$103 and medium weights made $75-$86. Restockers paid $100 for young Merino ewes.
Warwick’s top lambs make $140
In Queensland on Thursday, Warwick Selling Agents yarded 2201 lambs and hoggets, and 724 sheep.
The market eased for all descriptions in the larger yarding of both sheep and lambs. The top lambs in the market from Stone Family Farming from ‘Johnstone’, Dirranbandi, made $140.
Crossbred lambs 46-55kg lwt sold from $124-$140, those from 42-45kg made $120-$130.50, the 36-42kg lines ranged from $108-$128 and the 35-40kg lambs made $98-$110. Shorn crossbred hoggets weighing 52kg made $115.
In the sheep pens, trade wethers with $15 skins sold to $126 or 400c/kg cwt and light lines with $5 skins made $65 or 315c/kg. Heavy crossbred ewes with $17 skins sold to $131 or $400c/kg, and light ewes with $3 skins made $60 or 310c/kg.
Tasmania’s trade lambs $4-$6 cheaper
At the northern Tasmanian saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 1700 lambs, 480 more than last week, and 655 sheep, 280.
The NLRS said was a larger yarding of lambs at Powranna and Killafaddy on Tuesday, with more store lambs and fewer heavy lambs as the cold season impacted.
Exporters bought very light lambs for $51-$66 and restockers paid $66-$102 for light and light trade types, almost all headed for the north-west coast. Light trade lambs made $100-$105 and trade types sold from $118-$138, with most averaging $4-$6 cheaper. Heavy lambs made $136-$151 and extra heavies $152-$166, with most $3-$5 dearer.
The sheep were mostly light and medium weights. Mutton prices were similar, with very light sheep making $35-$52, light weights $58-$68 and medium weights $67-$81.
Katanning’s new season lambs sell to $120
In Western Australia on Wednesday at the Katanning saleyards, the agents yarded 3500 lambs, 243 more than last week, and 4148 sheep, 2148 more.
The NLRS said it was a very mixed quality yarding. Prime new season lambs were the stand-out and sold to $120. All the usual buyers attended.
New season lambs sold from $40-$120, to average $88. Air freight lambs sold from $75-$100, to average $87. Crossbred lambs sold to restockers for $30-$70 and Merino lambs made $40-$62, to average $51. Crossbred trade weight lambs made from $90-$118, to average $103, and Merino trade weights sold to $96. Heavyweights over 22kg sold to $121.
Young Merino ewes sold to restockers for $25-$85, to average $71, and wethers made $27-$95, to average $71. Ewe prices eased, with light ewes and the 2 score processor mutton making $30-$75, while the better 3 score mutton sold to $90. Restockers paid from $50-$85 for the younger ewes.
Wether prices were up $10, with processors paying $70-$111. Restockers and feeder buyers paid $25-$111, to average $97. Live export wethers sold from $76-$125. Rams remained firm and sold for $10-$100 to processors and feeders, and restockers paid $20-$115. Live export rams sold for $50-$80.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.