NEW season lamb prices trended dearer in most saleyards early this week as wet weather disrupted supplies in New South Wales.
On Monday, new season lamb prices fell by up to $3 at Dubbo and by $5-$15 at Corowa, but were firm to dearer at subsequent NSW sales and at Victorian centres, spurred on by stronger store lamb competition.
Lamb prices fell $8-$10 at the South Australian Livestock Exchange in Dublin, but improved at Naracoorte.
The National Livestock Reporting Service said at least one New South Wales buyer sought additional lambs at Bendigo this week due to supply disruptions further north.
Over-the-hook lamb rates were held generally firm across the country this week, although slightly higher in Victoria for light and light trade lambs.
After Tuesday’s saleyard sales, the NLRS Eastern States Daily Indicators for lamb were: restocker 633c/kg, up 10 cents; Merino 547c/kg, down 10c; light 585c/kg, down 11c; trade 599c/kg, down 1c; heavy 608c/kg, up 1c. The national trade lamb indicator fell 1 cent to 602c/kg and the heavy indice lifted 1 cent to 608c/kg.
The ESDI for mutton lost 1 cent to 407c/kg and the national mutton indicator was unchanged at 408c/kg.
Dubbo’s trade lambs firm to $3 cheaper
In New South Wales at the Dubbo saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 22,000 lambs, 6940 more than last week, and 5150 sheep, 2800 more.
The NLRS said it was a pretty good quality yarding with good numbers of new season, trade and heavy weight old lambs. Merino lambs and hoggets were also well-supplied.
Lightweight lambs sold firm to processors, with the 12-18kg cwt 2 scores making $79-$115. Trade lambs were firm to $3 cheaper, with the 18-23kg 3 score new season lambs selling from $104-$150, to average 615-635c/kg. Heavy weight lambs were $3 cheaper, with the over 22kg 4 score old lambs making $135-$199. Heavy new season lambs sold to $167.
Light weight Merino lambs were firm and heavier trade weights were $3 dearer. The trade weight Merino lambs sold from $103-$131 and heavier weights made to 150. Restockers paid to $118 and hoggets sold to $129.
Most grades were represented in the fair quality sheep yarding. Ewes sold firm to $3 cheaper, while the wethers finished $4 cheaper with fluctuations related to quality. The 2 score ewes sold from $65-$81. The better 3 and 4 score Merinos made $75-$135 and crossbreds sold to $128. Merino wethers sold to $131.
Corowa’s trade lambs fall $5-$15
At the Corowa saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 8200 lambs, 3500 more than last week, and 1500 sheep, 800 fewer.
The NLRS said numbers lifted significantly due to a break in the recent wet weather and included 4700 new season lambs. Quality improved, but was still quite mixed across all lambs. Not all major domestic buyers attended and those that did preferred a specific type.
New season trade weight lambs sold to weaker demand, with prices falling $5-$15. Light trade weight lambs sold from $113-$124, medium trade weights made $121-$139 and the heavy trade lambs sold for $138-$154. Extra heavy lambs sold from $148-$155. The better trade lambs averaged 580c/kg cwt.
Old trade lamb prices were back $10-$15 and more in places, with trade weights making $118-$140 and extra heavy weights selling to $156.
It was a mixed quality sheep offering, with quite a few excellent pens of heavy ewes. Not all buyers were present and competition was weaker. This was in part due-the end of Ramadan. Heavy weight crossbred ewes made-$126 and Merino ewes sold-$116.
Tamworth’s young trade lambs sell $10 dearer
At the Tamworth saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 2600 lambs, 1750 fewer than last week, and 1100 sheep, 790 less.
The NLRS said the quality of the new season trade weight lambs was good. Old lambs were best supplied and the quality was mixed but did contain several good drafts of crop finished trade and heavy weights. Light shorn lambs were also in reasonable numbers with a very strong restocking gallery.
New season trade weights sold $10 dearer. The heavy trade weights made $133-$142 and the lighter end of the heavy weights sold for $144-$150. Most made 600-615c/kg.
Old restocking lambs sold to strong competition and lifted at a similar rate. Prices ranged from $48-$87 on the light lambs. Old trade weights eased $3-$4 and sold from $110-$142 for neatly shorn crop finished lambs. Most averaged 565c/kg. Heavy old lambs sold from $130-$160 and extra heavy weights reached $185.
Sheep quality was mixed. Prices remained steady on most sheep, with medium weight ewes making $72-$100. Heavy crossbred ewes sold from $110-$132 and wethers made $110. Most better sheep sold from 380-400c/kg cwt.
Forbes’ young lambs lift $4-$7
At the Forbes saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 24,500 lambs, 2400 fewer than last week, and 4200 sheep, 3450 less.
The NLRS said lamb quality improved, with some good lines of well-finished lambs offered. There were more well-finished heavy and extra heavy weight lambs. The usual buyers competed in a dearer market.
Prices lifted $4-$7 for the 11,250 new season lambs yarded. Light lambs sold from $116-$124. Trade weights made $127-$155. Heavy lambs sold from $153-$166 and extra heavies $154-$184. Carcase prices averaged from 630-654c/kg.
Old lambs were also a couple of dollars dearer. Light lambs sold from $108-$118. Trade weights made $124-$148. Heavy lambs sold from $149-$158 and extra heavies from $153-$172. Carcase prices averaged 606-620c/kg.
The sheep were mostly Merinos and quality was mixed. Prices remained strong, with Merino ewes making $80-$132. Crossbreds sold from $90-$136 and Merino wethers made $100-$138.
Inverell lambs dearer
At the Inverell saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 3702 lambs, 342 more than two weeks ago, and 1085 sheep, 95 fewer.
The NLRS said lamb quality was good, with many coming off the crops and feeders. Only a few pens of new season lambs were offered. Buyers concentrated on the better finished heavy trade and heavy shorn lambs off crop and feeders. The market trend was dearer.
The few pens of new season trade lambs made to $135 and heavy weights sold to $155, averaging 595-605c/kg cwt. Old trade weights were firm to $6 dearer, with the medium and heavy trade weights making $94-$128. Heavy lambs were $3 dearer at $121-$161. Extra heavy lambs sold to $193. Carcase prices averaged 560-590c/kg, but there were several sales at and above 600c/kg for the right article.
Sheep quality varied. Prices were similar with only skin variances. Medium weights sold from $75-$100. Heavy crossbred ewes made to $130. The better covered sheep averaged 360-380c/kg.
Bendigo’s heavy young lambs sell dearer
In Victoria on Monday, the agents yarded 13,334 lambs, 3680 more than last week, and 4592 sheep, 546 fewer.
The NLRS said the supply of lambs lifted by nearly 40 percent, despite the wet conditions. Most were young lambs, with old season lambs in small pen lots at the end of each agent’s run.
The quality of the young lambs was the best seen this season, with more carcase weight and consistency starting to emerge as lambs mature.
The wet conditions continued to support the market, with an extra NSW buyer attending due to supply issues further north. Prices varied across weights and grades.
The heaviest young lambs sold firm to dearer, but the general run of medium trade weights eased by $3-$9. Prices for light weight small lambs improved due to limited numbers and emerging store lamb buyer competition.
Bidding for heavy young lambs reached a top of $180 twice for lambs estimated to weigh 28kg cwt, with an $8 skin. This was followed by about 10 sales at $170-$178. The main drafts of heavy trade weight lambs weighing 24kg-plus sold from $148-$168 or around 600-620c/kg. Prices for the medium run of domestic lambs eased to $130-$144, or mostly 580-600c/kg, due in part to more plentiful supplies.
The limited numbers of small and light weight young lambs sold dearer to exporters and store lamb buyers. Only a few pens of very small lambs sold for less than $100, with most of the light lambs selling for $100-$114, at over 600c/kg, to restockers from Ballarat, South Gippsland and the local area. Ballarat buyers paid up to $123.50 for bigger store lambs.
Agents drew for a bigger yarding of sheep, but wet weather limited the yarding. Most of the yarding comprised crossbred and Merino ewes off-shears. In dollars per head terms, prices were similar to dearer than a week ago, but due to more weight and fat cover on most sheep, carcase rates showed some downward corrections. Extra heavy crossbred ewes sold to $128, big Merino wethers made $130, while woolly Merino ewes sold to $130.
Ballarat’s new season lambs sell firm to $3 dearer
At the Ballarat saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 5590 lambs, 932 more than last week, and 5013 sheep, 2009 more.
The NLRS said more young lambs were offered and quality was average to good. Most of the regular buyers attended.
Although not all the buyers operated fully, new season lamb prices were firm to $3 dearer. Most were medium and light trade weights ideal for processors. The number of heavy young lambs was limited.
Restockers paid $95-$109 for 2 score store lambs and $52-$66 for Merino lambs. Some old lambs were yarded and the better finished medium and heavy trade weight 2, 3 and 4 score pens made $111-$158, or 560-580c/kg, to be firm. The 2 score plainer old lambs sold from $70-$104, to be $1-$3 cheaper at times. Light trade 2 and 3 new season lambs made $109-$115. Medium trade weights sold from $120-$145. Heavier 3 and 4 score drafts made $144-$159, or 604-644c/kg, averaging an estimated 625c/kg.
All weights and grades of sheep were offered, but there was not quite the weight of last week’s yarding. Mutton prices were generally $1-$3 cheaper, with light 1 and 2 score sheep selling from $60-$77. The 2 and 3 score medium trade weights made $78-$92 and full wool Merino ewes made to $117, averaging close to 410c/kg. Heavy cross bred sheep sold from $102-$130. The best of the Merino wethers, 3 and 4 score, sold from $92-$110 at an estimated average of 415c/kg. Heavy 2 and 3 score rams made $85-$125. Restockers paid $78-$116 for Merino hoggets and up to $99 for Merino wethers.
Dublin’s lambs sell $8-$10 easier
At the South Australian Livestock Exchange on Tuesday, the agents yarded 10,000 lambs, and 400 sheep, 1000 more than last week.
The NLRS said the usual trade and processor buyers attended, along with more restockers and feeders.
However, new season lambs dominated the yarding and sold $8-$10 easier. Very light weights under 16kg cwt sold mainly to the trade for $78-$99, but pushed by feeders. Air freight 16-18kg lambs sold from $90-$113. Trade weights made $95-$142. Heavy new season lambs sold from $110-$162.
Old season lambs were also $8-$10 easier, with light weights making $44-$87 to restockers. Air freight types 16-18kg sold from $74-$102. Old trade lambs made $85-$128 and heavy old lambs sold for $115-$134.
Sheep sold fully firm. Better young Merino wethers sold to feeders for $68-$144 and top young Merino ewes made $86-$96. Light weight hoggets sold from $44-$86, medium weights sold mainly to restockers for $76-$112 and heavy weights made $95-$124.
Light weight ewes sold from $40-$83 and medium weights made $68-$89. Heavy weights sold from $85 up to $132 for full wool ewes sold to restockers. Wethers were in short supply. Medium weight wethers made $92-$95 and heavy weight full wool lines sold to restockers for up to $132. Rams sold from $80-$128.
Naracoorte’s young lambs sell to $151
At the Naracoorte saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 2268 lambs, 413 more than last week, and 2741 sheep, 816 more.
The NLRS said there were more new season young lambs and quality was average to good considering the effect of recent wet weather on presentation. The usual buyers operated in a dearer market on the young lambs.
New season young lambs sold to $151 and the better trade weights made to $150. Restockers paid to $107 for young lambs. Young light trade 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $97-$123. Trade weight 3 scores made $126-$150 and averaged around 600c/kg. Export weight young lambs sold from $150-$151.
Older lambs are now only in small lots. Trade weights sold from $113-$126 and heavier lines made $125-$152. Heavy hoggets sold from $90-$122.
Sheep sold firm to dearer, with odd lots a little easier. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep made $54-$80. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep sold from $64-$118, with the Merino mutton averaging around 430c/kg. Heavy 3-4 score crossbred sheep sold from $94-$125 to average around 370c/kg. Heavy Merino ewes sold from $100-$133. Heavy Merino wethers sold from $94-$116 and medium weights made $87-$98. Rams made to $122.
Muchea’s new season lambs slip $3-$6
In Western Australia at the Muchea saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 4365 lambs, 535 fewer than last week, and 5780 sheep, 458 less.
The NLRS said lamb supplies were back in response to last week’s lower values. Lambs were not up-last week’s quality with more not quite in prime condition and as heavy overall. All the regular buyers attended and most made purchases, but decreased competition allowed restockers to buy a reasonable number of suitable drafts.
New season lamb prices slipped another $3-$6. Light new season lambs made $40-$85, back almost $6. Air freight lambs made $60-$85 and restockers paid $40-$72 for the lighter and plainer drafts. Trade lambs sold firm to $6 easier and averaged close to 430c/kg. Most trade lambs sold from $80-$105, with some heavier drafts making $105-$121. Old season lambs sold $5 easier, but there were only small tail-end drafts in most categories.
Sheep quality was very good, with some larger drafts of heavy ewes, but prices eased by close to $6. Light weight ewes made $40-$50. The 2 score processor mutton made $45-$70, up to $9 cheaper, with wool length a factor. Prices for heavy weight and better conditioned ewes eased $6 to $60-$90, averaging close to 270c/kg.
Restockers bought suitable young ewes for $44-$97 and mature drafts for $62-$92. Wethers were back around $4, with most going to export feeders and restockers. Heavy bare shorn wethers made $80-$90 and longer wool drafts sold to $100. Lighter and store wethers made $56-$90. Wether hoggets sold to processors for $75-$97. Ram prices eased $8, with ram lambs making $60-$80 and export buyers paying $40-$81 for young drafts. Old rams sold to processors for $20-$50.
Tasmanian lambs sell to $134
At the Tasmanian saleyards at Powranna and Killafaddy on Tuesday, the agents yarded 739 lambs, 11 fewer than last week, and 223 sheep, 27 less.
Best heavy weight lambs sold from $118-$134 and trade weights made $92-$115. Light weight lambs sold from $73-$90 and restockers paid $50-$66 for suitable lambs. The small number of sheep made $70-$92.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.