NEW season lamb prices lifted in saleyards mid-week as yardings fell in New South Wales, but lifted in Victoria.
Enough good quality lambs continue to be offered at centres nationally despite the season and the new season lamb turn-off in south-west Victoria is gaining momentum at Hamilton.
Restocking interest in lambs remained strong in most centres, underpinning light and light trade weight prices, but not all trade and processor buyers operated in all centres.
The National Livestock Reporting Service said restockers paid $67-$109 and up to 667c/kg cwt for light lambs at Carcoar and they competed on all weights of store lines at Wagga, buying well-bred light second cross lambs for $90-$108.
Export and domestic processors lifted lamb prices $3-$5 at Wagga, paying $95-$155.20, or 435-600c/kg, for lines with skins valued at $1-$12.
At Hamilton in Victoria, the new roofed yards were used for the first time this week. Processors and extra restocker buyers from northern Victoria and South Australia lifted prices for light weight new season lambs with $4-$11 skins by $5-$10 to $70-$110. Medium trade weight young lambs with $6-$14 skins lifted $2-$4 to $129, or 453-755c/kg. Hamilton’s heavy 4 score lambs with $12-$14 skins were $5-$8 dearer at $125-$152, or 483-529c/kg.
NLRS lamb indicators on the move
After Thursday’s saleyard sales, the NLRS Eastern States Daily Indicators for lamb were: restocker 521c/kg, down 1 cent; Merino 457c/kg, up 30c/kg; light 484c/kg, up 4c; trade 511c/kg, up 4c; heavy 501c/kg, up 2c. The national trade lamb indicator rose 5 cents to 512c/kg and the heavy lamb indice lifted 2 cents to 330c/kg.
The ESDI for mutton held firm at 333c/kg and the national indicator was unchanged on 330c/kg.
Carcoar new season lambs $2-$4 dearer
In New South Wales at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange at Carcoar on Wednesday, the agents yarded 6800 lambs, 700 fewer than last week, and 2300 sheep, 100 more.
The NLRS said it was a fair to good quality yarding, with some good lines of trade and heavy weight new season lambs and a fair percentage of stores. Most of the regular buyers operated.
New season lambs sold $2-$4 dearer to restockers at $67-$109. Trade weight lambs were $5 dearer, with the new season lines making $104-$138 to average 555c/kg cwt. Trade weight old lambs sold from $77-$128. Heavy weight lambs were $2-$5 dearer, with the over 22kg young lambs making $125-$163.
Most grades of sheep finished firm to $3 cheaper in mixed quality yarding. The better finished ewes sold from $76-$115 for crossbreds and $92 for Merinos. The better finished Merino wethers sold from $68-$100.
Wagga’s export lambs lift $3-$5
At the Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 22,000 lambs, 6000 fewer than last week, and 12,000 sheep, 4000 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was quite good, with most being new season lines. The usual buyers attended, but not all major export processors operated across heavy categories.
Well-bred store lambs were well-supplied and restockers were active over all weights. Store orders were from Albury, Corowa, Cootamundra, Forbes, Dubbo and the local area. The reasonable number of new season trade lambs sold to irregular competition.
Premium prices were paid for well-finished medium and heavy trade lambs. The better types made $121-$146, to average 540c/kg cwt. Light trade lambs averaged $118.20. Secondary lambs sold to stronger demand from a large field of store buyers. Well-bred second cross lambs sold to restockers made $90-$108. Plainer immature types averaged $69.
There were fewer heavy and extra heavy export lambs, and processors clashed for a market share. The stronger demand from a few export and domestic processors lifted prices $3-$5, to average 527c/kg.
Mutton quality was quite good, with plenty of shorn heavy sheep offered. Merino trade sheep prices improved $3-$7 to $74-$106, to average 332c/kg cwt. Heavy crossbred ewes were well-supplied and prices lifted $3-$5, to average 293c/kg. Light sheep were keenly sought, making from $54-$70. Ewes sold to restockers for $96-$105.
Hamilton’s medium trade weight lambs lift $2-$4
In Victoria at the Hamilton saleyards, the agents yarded 18,962 lambs, 10,971 more than last week, and 2953 sheep, 463 fewer.
The NLRS said lamb supply climbed as the turn-off of new season lines escalated. More top drafts were included in the yarding which were of very good quality and well-presented, despite the dry conditions. All weight ranges were represented.
A full gallery of processors, not all of which were operating fully, combined with extra restocker buyers from Northern Victoria and South Australia lifted light weight lambs $5-$10. Medium trade weights also lifted in price, up $2-$4, and the heavy 4 score lambs were $5-$8 dearer.
Light 2 score lambs sold from $61-$94, with restockers paying $66-$96, or up to 550c/kg cwt. The light trade weight lambs, 2 and 3 score, made $91-$110. Medium trade 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $107-$129, with the estimated carcase weight costs ranging from 480-530c/kg.
Heavy 4 score lambs sold from $131-$152, or 470-505c/kg, to average close to 490c/kg.
Sheep prices were mostly $7-$10 dearer, and up to $12 higher, with 2-4 score mutton ranging from 280-350c/kg cwt, averaging around 320c/kg cwt. Light 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $50-$76, medium weights made $72-$84 and the 3-4 score heavy crossbreds $78-$98. Best Merino wethers sold from $78-$100. Rams sold from $40-$85.
Hamilton lamb and sheep sales will be split from next week, with lamb sales on Wednesdays and the sheep sale on Thursdays.
Horsham lambs firm to dearer
At the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 7967 lambs, 4291 fewer than last week, and 4001 sheep, 526 less.
The NLRS said lamb quality was average to good. Carcase weights remaining relatively good, but more lambs were showing dryness in the skins. Most of the regular buyers operated in a generally firm market, with lamb selling $1-$2 either side of last week’s levels.
Reasonable numbers of trade weight and heavy lambs were yarded and reached a market top of $146. Restockers were again active and paid mostly from $78-$95 and from $40-$68 for lighter lots, with restocker lambs selling similar to last week.
Light weight 2 score lambs sold from $78-$88. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $85-$114, to average around 475c/kg cwt. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $103-$128, with the heavier drafts making $121-$134, or 430-520c/kg, to average around 480c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $137-$146.
All weights and grades of sheep were offered and sold to keen demand. With some extra processor competition, most sheep sold $3-$8 dearer. Heavy crossbred sheep sold up to $10 dearer. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $43-$76. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep made $60-$88, or 280-380c/kg cwt, with Merino mutton averaging around 330c/kg. Heavy 3-5 score sheep sold from $69.50-$99.50.
Restockers paid from $77-$84 for Merino wethers. Heavy Merino wethers selling to $88 and the medium weights made $66-$70 at around 330c/kg.
Mt Gambier lambs trend dearer
In South Australia at the Mt Gambier saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 6270 lambs, 825 more than last week, and 112 sheep, 163 less.
The NLRS said more good quality new season lambs came forward and sold in the rain to fewer trade and processor buyers. Lamb prices trended upwards. Light weight lambs sold mainly to the trade at $84-$94. Light weight trade 2 and 3 score lambs improved by up to $5 to $96-$108. Trade weight 3 score lambs ranged from $104-$124, up $3-$5, to average 490c/kg cwt. Heavy 4 score lambs ranged from $122-$138, also up $5. Heavy export weight lambs made $137-$150. Hoggets sold to $83 and wethers reached $79. Light weight ewes ranged from $20-$36, medium weights sold from $56-$64 and the few heavy types made to $77. Rams sold to $55.
Katanning’s heavy lambs fall $5-$8
In Western Australia at the Katanning saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 8382 lambs, 3382 more than last week, and 10,307 sheep, 322 fewer than last week.
The NLRS said supply outstripped demand for trade and heavy lambs, with prices slipping $5. Heavy mutton sold to the trade also eased $3-$5, but the rest of the market stayed strong as increased feeder and restocker demand met pace with increased numbers and all store types sold firm.
Heavy lambs sold to $101, back $5-$8. Trade lambs were of good quality and the heavy types sold from $82-$100, while lighter trade weights sold from $74-$94. The light weights averaged $76 and airfreight types averaged $71. There was strong demand from feeders for light weight crossbreds, which averaged $58 and remained firm.
There was strong demand for young Merino ewes from Merredin-Esperance buyers at $35-$84, or an average of $55. Young wethers were keenly sought, with light weights averaging $58 and the 14-18kg cwt range lines averaging $66. Heavier types sold from $80-$110, pushed on by live export market.
The mutton market eased some $3-$5 for heavy weights, which made $50-$67 with the trade. Good light ewes sold to slaughter were well-sought after and made $40-$54. Light weight ewes sold firm at $32-$48 to restockers and fatteners. Heavy wethers remained firm at $80-$96 and were again export driven. Rams sold to processors for $5-$33 and those suitable for export made $63-$95.
Warwick market firm to dearer
In Queensland at the Warwick saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 1473 lambs and hoggets, and 217 sheep.
The agents said the market was firm to a shade dearer for all descriptions of sheep and lambs in a larger yarding. The top-priced lambs weighing 58.5kg lwt made $138 for St George Vineyards Pty Ltd of St George.
Crossbred lambs 46-55kg lwt sold from $124-$136, 42-45kg lambs made $114-$128.50, 36-42kg lines ranged from $109-$121 and 35-40kg lambs sold from $104-$118. Shorn crossbred hoggets 55.1kg lwt sold to $117.
Trade wethers with $12 skins sold to $94, or 340c/kg cwt, and light wethers with $8 skins made to $50, or 270c/kg. Heavy crossbred ewes with $10 skins sold to $90, or 325c/kg, and light ewes with $8 skins made to $46, or 228c/kg.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.