New season lamb prices hold in saleyards as buyers chase ewes on AuctionsPlus

Sheep Central October 10, 2016
These early-August shorn September-October 2015-drop Merino wether lambs, 25.5kg cwt and mostly score 3, sold for $139 at Tilpa, NSW, on AuctionsPlus last week.

These early-August shorn September-October 2015-drop Merino wether lambs, 25.5kg cwt and mostly score 3, sold for $139 at Tilpa, NSW, on AuctionsPlus last week.

NEW season trade lamb prices improved slightly in saleyards late last week as buyers continued to seek supplies from the weather-interrupted seasonal turn-off.

The National Livestock Reporting Service said there was better competition at saleyards on Friday, especially from domestic buyers, with more heavier new season lambs being yarded.

After Friday’s saleyard sales, the NLRS quoted the Easter States Trade Lamb Indicator as up three cents to 599c/kg, up 4 cents for the week. The ESDI for heavy lambs was unchanged, up 1 cent for the week.

The indicators for the other ESDI lamb categories, their daily and weekly changes were: restocker 627c/kg, down 13 cents daily, down 22c weekly; Merino 557c/kg, down 1c, up 23c; light 612c/kg, no change, up 20c. The national trade lamb indicator finished the week up 3 cents to 601c/kg, and the heavy indice closed unchanged on 592c/kg.

The ESDI for mutton rose 1 cent on Friday to 430c/kg, finishing the week 30 cents higher. The national mutton indicator was 1 cent higher on 426c/kg.

AuctionsPlus breeding ewe prices stay strong

Sheep and lamb numbers remained strong online last week, with a slight decrease of 1929 to 59,273 head. For the third week in a row breeding ewe numbers and prices remained strong with young Merino ewes dominating the Tuesday and Thursday sales, AuctionsPlus said.

The week’s top lines for young, proven and older merino breeders were dominated by a single vendor at Marnoo in Victoria. A line of unjoined 2.5-year-old Charinga blood ewes weighing 72kg lwt sold for $246. A line of 17-18 month-old unjoined ewes weighing 57kg sold for $240.50. Some 3.5 year-old unjoined proven breeders weighing 68kg sold for $226.50 and 5.5-6.5 years-old ewes weighing 75kg sold for $150.

Young Merino ewe prices ranged from $115- $246 for an average of $178. Highlights included a line of 750, 13-14 month-old, unjoined, Baderloo and Mernowie blood Merino ewes, weighing 49kg with a 2.25” skin at White Cliffs, NSW, that sold for $202.

Proven Merino breeders averaged $163, with a line of 4 year-old unjoined, Belbourie and Stockman blood ewes, weighing 62kg, with a 3.25” skin, at Callawadda, Victoria, that sold for $171. Older Merino ewes averaged $110, with a line of 6 year-old Wyuna blood ewes, weighing 68kg making $139.50. These ewes were scanned in lamb to Merino and Border Leicester rams at Tilpa, NSW.

Merino wether lambs averaged $99, with the top price of $121 paid for a line of April/ May 2016-drop Willandra blood wethers, weighing 46kg and with a 2” skin, at Jerilderie, NSW. Merino wether hoggets averaged $98 and made up to $120.50 for a line of 12-13 month-old Haddon Rig and Egelabra blood wethers, weighing 47kg and with a 2” skin at Brewarrina, NSW.

First cross ewe lambs averaged $153 and made to $155.50 for a line of July 2016 drop ewe lambs, weighing 35kg at Nyngan, NSW. Young first cross ewes averaged $241 and sold for up to $280 a mob of unjoined 15-17 month-old ewes weighing 67kg at Lochaber, South Australia.

A small offering of ewes and lambs this week sold to $316 for a line of 250 unjoined first cross ewes. These 2.5 year-old ewes at Boorhaman in Victoria had 320 White Suffolk lambs. Another stand-out line was some organic White Dorper ewes at Pooncarie, NSW, which made $265. The 2-5 year-old ewes weighed 64kg and were scanned in lamb to White Dorper rams.

Store lambs, 22-29kg lwt, sold for $91-$104 and averaged $98 or 363c/kg lwt, 30-36kg lambs made $99-$112.50 to average $106 or 312c/kg, and the 37-41kg lines sold from $107-$119, averaging $112 or 287c/kg.

Last Wednesday, AuctionsPlus interfaced with the Glendemar Multi-Purpose Merino Sale, with rams averaging $1914 and a top price of $10,000 paid for lot 110. The online catalogue received 1072 views, with six bidders and 23 guests logging into the sale. AuctionsPlus purchased 4 lots to a top price of $4500 for lot 9.

In the Anden sale on Thursday, with 21 stud ewes and 20 stud rams offered, the top ram sold for $68,000 and the top-priced ewe made $1300. The sale attracted 22 buyers and 36 guest viewers.

Cowra’s trade lambs lift $2-$4

In New South Wales at the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 9300 lambs, 2540 more than last week, and 1100 sheep, 500 more.

The NLRS said lamb quality improved, with 7300 new season lambs in top condition offered. Mainly trade weights and more heavy weights were penned. The old grades were mixed in quality and store lambs were limited in supply. Competition improved among the usual buyers and the market showed a dearer trend.

Light new season lambs sold from $105-$111 and stores averaged $95. Medium and heavy trade weight new season lambs were $2-$4 dearer and averaged from 585-590c/kg cwt. Most of the heavy trade weights sold from $130-$139.

Heavy weight lambs were $4-$6 dearer and averaged from 570-590c/kg. Several pens of extra heavy weight new season lambs sold from $160-$170. Old trade weight lambs were around $5 dearer and averaged $126 or 560c/kg.

Sheep quality was reasonable, with some good heavy first cross ewes penned. Medium weight first cross ewes averaged $99. Heavy first cross ewes were $8 dearer and averaged $114 or 395c/kg.

Griffith’s trade lambs lift $2

At the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 13,300 lambs, and 3800 sheep, 1600 more than last week.

The NLRS said the quality of the 10,600 new season lambs was mixed. There were some good runs of well-finished lambs and some plainer drier types. The usual buyers competed in the slightly better market.

Light new season lambs lifted $4 to $116-$125. Trade weights were firm to $2 better at $125-$156. Heavy and extra heavy weight lambs were $3-$5 dearer. Heavy lambs sold from $147-$161 and extra heavies made $163-$175. Carcase prices averaged from 630-654c/kg.

Old trade weight lambs sold from $120-$146. Heavy and extra heavy weights made $140-$180.

Sheep quality was very mixed and mutton prices were steady. Merino ewes sold from $83-$134. Crossbred ewes made $82-$133. Heavy Dorper ewes sold from $113-$127. Merino wethers made $120-$134.

Shepparton’s young lambs sell to $170

In Victoria at the Shepparton saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 4000 lambs, 675 more than last sale two weeks ago, and 5550 sheep, 375 more.

The NLRS said new season lambs dominated the offering, with about 3400 yarded. These showed very good finish and weight thanks to the favourable season. The selection of old season lambs was plain, comprising mostly small clean-up lots of a few head.

The bigger offering of young lambs attracted more domestic buyers and demand was strong with most of the good trade weight lambs still returning above $140, although in carcase terms prices corrected from rates about two weeks ago. There was no sale at Shepparton last Friday due to the Grand Final public holiday, so price comparisons in this report are against the last sale on September 23.

Young lambs sold to $170 for a pen estimated at 28kg cwt. This was then followed by about eight pens of heavy lambs in the 26-27kg range which sold from $158-$167. The main drafts of heavy trade weight young lambs, most second-cross types in good clean skins, sold from $140-$155. Medium domestic lambs mostly made $125-$135. On a carcase basis most categories were in a range of 570-590c/kg.

Pens of light weight lambs under 18kg sold to strong bidding from a couple of processors and averaged over 600c/kg. Restocker competition was limited to an odd pen.

In the sheep sale, a few small pen-lots of heavy crossbred ewes sold from $110-$117. The best support from processors was for leaner shorn Merino ewes, which sold dearer at $75-$115, averaging over 415c/kg c/wt.

Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.


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