NEW season lamb prices held relatively firm in saleyards mid-week as increased supplies hit the market, especially in Victoria, where Hamilton agents yarded an extra 26,752 lambs on Wednesday.
Trade lamb prices lifted in New South Wales as supplies tightened, but slipped slightly in Victoria as more were offered.
The smaller offerings of heavy young lambs helped keep prices for these generally firm to dearer. Restocker competition is still strong on light and secondary trade lambs, with lambs up to 18kg cwt making up to 650c/kg in NSW, to 633c/kg in Victoria and to 625c/kg in South Australia.
Light and medium trade new season lambs with $5-$12 skins in NSW saleyards sold for $102-$139, or 473-605c/kg, while heavier young lambs with skins worth up to $13 made $132-$160, or 344-574c/kg.
In Victoria and South Australia, the 18.1-22kg new season lambs with skins valued at up to $13 made $78-$125, or 383-558c/kg. Heavier young lambs with skins worth $11-$14 sold from $117-$159, or 457-513c/kg.
NLRS indicators general firm
After Thursday’s saleyard sales, the NLRS Eastern States Daily Indicators for lamb were: restocker 543c/kg, up 9 cents; Merino 461c/kg, down 21c; light 491c/kg, no change; trade 502c/kg, down 3c; heavy 503c/kg, up 1c. The national trade lamb indicator closed down 3 cents to 504c/kg and the heavy indice finished on 504c/kg, up 2 cents.
The ESDI and national indicator for mutton are both up 2 cents to 334c/kg.
Carcoar lambs $5 dearer on quality
In New South Wales at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange at Carcoar on Wednesday, the agents yarded 10,200 lambs, 3400 more than last week, and 2900 sheep, 600 more.
The NLRS said it was a mixed yarding, with a pretty good selection of trade and heavy weight lambs. Fewer extra heavy weights were yarded. There was a good supply of lighter lambs suited to feeder buyers and restockers. Most grades were $5 dearer, mainly due to the improved quality.
Lambs sold $2 dearer to restockers at $42-$112. Trade lambs were firm to $2 dearer, with the 18-22kg new season lambs selling from $96-$139, to average 560c/kg cwt. Heavy weight lambs were firm to $3 dearer, with the over 22kg new season lambs making $135-$155. The over 22kg old lambs sold from $136-$155.
Mutton quality was fair to good. The 2 score ewes sold from $49-$68, while the better 3 and 4 score Merinos made $73-$106 and crossbreds sold to $110. The 3 and 4 score Merino wethers sold from $75-$90.
Wagga’s secondary lambs $3 dearer
At the Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 25,000 lambs, 3000 more than last week, and 11,000 sheep, 1000 fewer.
The NLRS said lamb quality was fair, with a large percentage of the offering young secondary drafts. The usual buyers attended, but some export processors operated sporadically across heavy categories.
Well-bred second cross store lambs were well-supplied and restockers were active over all weights. Store orders were from Albury, Cootamundra, Forbes, Dubbo, Molong, Bathurst and the local area.
There were fewer new season trade lambs and they sold to steady competition. Well-finished medium and heavy trade lambs were keenly sought by some domestic processors. The better finished lambs made from $122-$148, averaging 540c/kg cwt. Light trade lambs met with reduced competition and prices eased $3 to average $115. Secondary lambs sold up to $3 dearer due to strong local and northern competition. Well-bred second cross lambs returning to the paddock and to feed on made $90-$111. Plainer immature types averaged $69, with prices unchanged.
Heavy and extra heavy export lambs were in limited numbers and sold to solid competition. Both heavy and extra heavy lamb categories were unchanged, making from $144-$160, to average 500c/kg.
There was strong demand for heavy sheep, but not for light and medium weight grades and not all buyers operated. Light sheep lacked buyer support, resulting in a cheaper trend of $12, to average 269c/kg cwt. Trade sheep were well-supplied and prices eased $5-$9 to $60-$95, or 314c/kg cwt. Heavy crossbred and Merino ewes were well-supplied and prices were unchanged, averaging 284c/kg.
Hamilton’s medium trade lambs ease $2-$4
In Victoria at the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 45,714 lambs, 26,752 more than last week.
The NLRS said the area’s new season lamb annual turn-off is in full swing. Quality was excellent considering the cut out of the season, with very good large drafts of heavy, medium and light trade weights of mostly 3 and 4 scores ideal for slaughter. There was a smaller percentage of light weight store type lambs.
A full field of processors attended along with more store buyers, providing reasonable competition, particularly on light and light trade weight lambs. Restockers came from Swan Hill, Albury, Deniliquin, Nathalia, South Australian border areas and locally to pay mostly $72-$102, or 500-570c/kg cwt.
Light lambs remained firm, while medium trade lambs eased by $2-$4 and the heavier lambs sold $5-$8 cheaper. Very light 1 and 2 score lambs sold from $52-$70. Light 2 score lambs sold from $73-$93 and the light trade lambs, 2 and 3 score, made $91-$103, to average an estimated 500c/kg. Medium trade weight 3 and 4 scores sold from $99-$122 and some heavy trade pens made $128-$132, or 460-520c/kg, to average close to 485c/kg. Heavy 3-4 score lambs sold from $134-$159, averaging around 490c/kg. Hoggets sold from $91-$118.
Horsham’s restocker lambs dearer
At the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 8283 lambs, 316 more than last week, and 4207 sheep, 206 more.
The NLRS said an average to good quality yarding of lambs was offered to the regular buyers.
Heavy lambs sold to $142, with most around last week’s levels, though some of the lighter trade weights were a little dearer. Restockers paid mostly $71-$95.50, and from $41-$65 for lighter replacements, while most restocker lambs were dearer. Light weight 2 score lambs sold from $62-$82.
Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs made $86-$109 and averaged around 480c/kg cwt. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $101-$122, with the heavier drafts making $117-$134, or 440-510c/kg, averaging around 485c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $131-$142, or around 490c/kg.
All weights and grades of sheep were yarded, including quality pens of Merino ewes and wethers and extra heavy crossbred ewes. Sheep sold to strong demand to be $5-$10 up on last week, with light and medium Merino mutton costing around 350-360c/kg cwt.
Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $63-$78. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep made from $70-$90, or 300-400c/kg cwt. Merino mutton averaged around 350c/kg. Heavy 3-5 score sheep sold from $75-$108, heavy Merino wethers sold to $104 and medium weights made $64-$81. Rams sold to $74.
Hamilton’s light and medium sheep $4-$6 dearer
At the Hamilton sheep sale on Thursday, the agents yarded 10,499 sheep, 7546 more than last week.
The NLRS said quality was very good with more heavy weights in the Merino wethers and crossbred ewes. The usual sheep buyers attended. The sale started slightly weaker, gradually gaining more strength as it progressed.
Demand was stronger for the light and medium weight sheep, which sold $4-$6 dearer. The heavier mutton weakened slightly to be unchanged by the end of the sale. Local restockers paid $75-$89 for crossbred ewes, $85 for Merino ewes and $87-$93 for Merino wethers. Light weight 1 score sheep sold from $44-$67. Light 2 scores made $65-$78 and the medium weight mutton sold from $70-$90, ranging from 300-370c/kg cwt to average close to 345c/kg. Heavy 3-4 score crossbreds sold from $76-$96, averaging an estimated 300c/kg. A line of Corriedale wethers sold for $105. Medium Merino wethers generally sold from $69-$93 and heaviest 4 score wethers sold to $99, or around 340c/kg cwt. The better conditioned rams sold from $42-$70.
Mt Gambier’s trade lambs sell firm
In South Australia at the Mt Gambier saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 9364 lambs, 3094 more than last week, and 54 sheep, 432 more.
The NLRS said a much larger field of trade and processor buyers attended. Both major supermarkets attended for the first time this spring, but not all buyers were fully active. Restockers purchased lighter weight lambs to grow on. Quality improved, with large numbers of well-presented and heavy weight new season lambs, but prices barely held firm.
Light weight lambs sold to the trade for $67-$100 and light trade 2 and 3 score lambs made $99-$110. Trade weight 3 score lambs ranged from $104-$125, averaging 490c/kg cwt to remain firm. Restockers were active and purchased lambs to turn out and grow on for $83-$106. Heavy 4 score lambs ranged from $118-$141 to be firm and extra heavy export lambs made $135-$148, up $3.
Hoggets sold to $80 with light ewes made $36. Medium weight ewes ranged from $54-$74 and averaged 280c/kg cwt. Heavy 3 and 4 score ewes ranged from $72-$86 to be $5-$7 better than last week. Rams sold to $23.
Katanning prices lift
In Western Australia at the Katanning saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 4450 lambs, 3932 fewer than last week, and 10,034 sheep, 273 less.
The NLRS said it was a mixed quality yarding and prices were dearer after last week’s fall. Heavy weight lambs were up $10 and graziers snapped up the discounted unfinished lambs. Light weight new season lambs sold from $67-$68, trade weights made $97-$106 and heavy weights ranged from $105-$112. Lambs suitable for air freight sold from $54-$83. Store crossbred lambs sold to restockers and feeders for $23-$63, depending on weight and quality. Merino store lambs made $10-$63.
Merino ewes dominated the sheep yarding and prices remained firm to higher for heavyweight mutton. Large lines of young wethers were presented by graziers running out of stock water and these sold strongly to a top of $85. Young bare shorn Merino ewes sold to restockers for $25, while lightweights with a fleece made to $89. The best store wethers sold to $85.
Ewe prices were firm to $5 dearer. Light ewes sold to $52. Slaughter ewes made $46, while the better 3 score bare shorn sheep sold from $52 and those with a fleece made to $85.
Restockers and feeders paid $65-$80 for wethers, depending on quality and weight. Export wethers sold to $95. Young rams sold to $80, while the older rams only realised $5-$45.
Warwick lambs sell to $140
The Warwick agents yarded 1759 lambs and hoggets, and 532 sheep on Wednesday.
In a larger yarding of both sheep and lambs, the market was firm on last week’s rates for all descriptions, with lambs selling to $140 for Tanya Dawes of ‘Barr Park’, Roma.
Crossbred lambs 46-55kg lwt sold from $124-$136, 42-45kg lambs made $118-$140, the 36-42kg lines ranged from $104-$113 and 35-40kg sold from $100-$108.
Shorn crossbred hoggets, 60kg lwt, sold to $105. Trade wethers with $3 skins sold to $80, or 330c/kg, and light wethers with $5 skins made to $50, or 265c/kg.
Heavy crossbred ewes with $10 skins made to $88, or 325c/kg, and light lines with $8 skins sold to $43, or 260c/kg.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus