Lamb prices improved in New South Wales this week where rain restricted supply, with rates firming for quality in Victoria, slipping in South Australia and lifting in Western Australia.
Mutton prices continued to firm, especially for quality and where sufficient numbers were yarded to warrant competition.
After Tuesday’s sales, Meat and Livestock Australia’s National Livestock Reporting Service said the Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator finished up three cents to 476 cents/kilogram; the heavy lamb indicator was at 474c/kg, up three cents, and the mutton indicator was on 338c/kg, up two cents.
Sheep lift $10 at Dubbo after rain
In New South Wales at Dubbo on Monday, agents yarded 26,000 lambs, 3325 more, and 6000 sheep, 3820 fewer. The yarding included new season, Merino, trade and heavy weight old lambs, but no extra heavy weights, for the usual buyers.
NLRS said despite some decent rainfalls over a wide area there was little change in market trends for new season lambs, well-finished trade weight old lambs and the better Merino lambs. Heavy old lambs sold slightly cheaper. Overall numbers in the system contributed to negating much of the price benefit normally associated with such a rain event, NLRS said.
There was strong demand for grown sheep and the best of the medium and heavy sheep improved by up to $10.
Tamworth lambs lose $8 in small yarding
At Tamworth on Monday, agents yarded 3200 lambs, 305 more, and 800 sheep, 1250 fewer. NLIS said old and new season lamb quality was good.
Trade weight new season lambs lost $8 and the heavy lambs also sold easier. Old lamb prices slipped $2-$3. Mutton rates were mostly unchanged.
Lambs up to $10 dearer in rain-affected Forbes yarding
At Forbes on Tuesday, agents yarded 23,850 lambs, 11,450 fewer, and 8150 sheep, 1550 fewer, as widespread rain dropped numbers.
NLRS said lamb quality continued to be fair, with good numbers of well-finished lambs offered. The 10,050 new season lambs sold $4-$6 dearer to the usual buyers and up to $10 higher in places. Trade weights ranged from $93-$120 and heavy lambs from $116-$137. Carcase prices were 488c/kg-515c/kg.
Old lambs were also $4-$5 dearer and trade weights ranged from $80-$114. Heavy lambs made $108-$126 and extra heavy weights from $126-$160. Trade weight Merino lambs ranged from $76-$94.
Prices for the most Merino sheep lifted $3-$4. Merino ewes made $74-$108, crossbreds from $74-$109 and Merino wethers $76-$97.
Trade lamb prices up $8-$10 in small Inverell yarding
At Inverell on Tuesday, agents yarded 2129 lambs, 1508 fewer, and 719 sheep, down 578, as rain also lowered the yarding.
NLRS said lamb quality was fairly good, with mainly well-finished lambs supplementary fed and off crops. Trade lamb prices lifted $8-$10 and heavy weights were up $5. The good medium and heavy mutton yarding sold firm to slightly easier.
Heavy lamb demand more consistent at Bendigo
In Victoria at Bendigo on Monday, agents yarded 10,001 lambs, 1442 more, and 5713 sheep, up 903.
NLRS said nearly half the lamb yarding were new season lines from the Mallee and Echuca areas. Better bred and finished trade weight and heavy lambs sold firm to $5 dearer, but secondary old season lambs were often heavily discounted and sold mostly cheaper. The regular buyers attended but not all operated at full capacity.
New season lambs sold to a top of $143 for a pen estimated at 27kg cwt with a $9 skin. Only a few pens of export weight drafts offered and most young lambs showed signs of poorer condition, with dryness in the skin. Most of the better young trade weight lambs sold from $126-$138, to average a few dollars dearer. Lighter young lambs, 17kg-20kg cwt, made $94-$122. Overall, new season lambs sold around 530c/kg cwt, with trade weight pens dearer at times.
Old season export weight lambs sold to $149, but with few sales over $140. NLRS said the better bred and conditioned old season trade weight lambs attracted the best demand and were dearer at $110-$130 for most, or an estimated 510c/kg-520c/kg cwt at the top end. Secondary old lambs, especially with long dry skins, were discounted, with plenty of sales under 450c/kg cwt and the plainest making below 400c/kg. There was no restocker interest.
The mutton sale varied a few dollars for an overall price which resulted similar to last week. Several pens of extra heavy crossbred ewes sold from $89-$105.60, while the best Merinos with a reasonable skin topped at $102. The general run of trade weight sheep sold from $66-$88, around 310c/kg-330c/kg cwt.
Lamb prices firm for quality at Ballarat
At Ballarat on Tuesday, agents yarded 3601 average quality lambs, 918 fewer, and 2216 sheep, 134 more.
NLRS said most lambs sold generally firm on quality, with the lighter processing lambs a little cheaper. A pen of new season lambs sold for $116 or around 550c/kg cwt. Restockers paid from $43-$62 and $80-$127 for lambs, from $58-$73 for Merino ewes and from $61-$74 for Merino wethers.
Light weight 1 and 2 score lambs made $67-$78 and light trade 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $71-$90, with quality lots to $113. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs made $92-$123, from 430c/kg-540c/kg cwt or around 480c/kg cwt. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $120-$128 or around 480c/kg cwt.
Lighter sheep sold a few dollars better and others were generally firm, while some wethers sold slightly cheaper. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $38-$75, with very light 1 scores making $35-$46. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep sold from $65-$87, from 280c/kg-340c/kg cwt, to average around 320c/kg cwt.
Heavy 3 to 5 score sheep made $75-$89 and medium weight Merino wethers sold from $65-$76 or around 300c/kg cwt. Rams sold from $25-$45.
Plain to average lamb yarding at Naracoorte sells easier
In South Australia at Naracoorte on Tuesday, NLRS said agents offered a plain to average quality yarding of 1526 lambs, 622 more, and 1234 sheep, 148 fewer.
Heavy weight lambs generally sold $2-$3 easier and as much as $10 lower in places. Sheep prices, especially for medium to heavy weights, eased $2 to $4. Light weight 2 score lambs made $35-$67 and up to $79 to processors, while light trade weight 2 and 3 scores sold from $67-$83.
The 3 score medium to heavy trade weight lambs made $74-$108 and averaged 425c/kg cwt to be $5 better in places. Heavy 4 score export lambs made $96-$123 and averaged an easier 455c/kg cwt.
Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep made $47-$67, with poorer 1 scores from $38. The medium weight 2 and 3 scores made $60-$80, with wethers to $86.50. Heavy 3 and 4 score sheep made $80-$110, with a pen of extra heavy 5 score ewes to $113.
A run of 2 to 4 score ewes averaged 315c/kg cwt, while the few good to very good quality wether pens were at 350c/kg cwt. Heavy weight 2 and 3 score rams made from $44 to $82, with two tooth rams to $95.
Lamb prices ease at Dublin with one buyer out
At Dublin’s SA Livestock Exchange agents yarded 8844 lambs, 621 fewer and 5177 sheep, 1601 less than last week.
NLRS said new season lambs sold to easing competition from the usual trade and processor buyers, though one did not operate, and feeders and restockers were cautious. Feeders bought light weight new season crossbred lambs for $79-$94 and Merinos for $68.
Light weight 3 score crossbred lambs to trade buyers eased $5, at $95-$98 and around 487c/kg cwt. Light trade weight 4 scores eased $7, from $105-$114 and 486c/kg cwt, while heavier trade weights eased $6, from $110-$125, to average 471c/kg cwt. The few heavyweights yarded eased $5, from $115-$135, to average 469c/kg cwt, and one outstanding consignment sold at $145.
Old crossbred lambs sold cheaper with trade weight 3 scores down $11, from $92-$115 and 418c/kg cwt. Heavy weight 4 scores eased $11 to $15, at 397c/kg-428c/kg cwt. Lightweight Merino old lambs sold to restockers for $56-$97, while trade weight 3 scores to processors remained unchanged, at $85-$98. Heavyweight 3 score Merino prices lost $8, to sell from $97-$110 or around 397c/kg cwt.
The sheep sold to reduced competition with little restocker input, though they paid $66 for wethers. Lightweight 2 score ewes sold from $50-$68, while heavyweight 3 scores eased $10, at $60-$86, to average 253c/kg cwt. Heavyweight wethers eased $9 and sold from $78-$92, returning 275c/kg-292c/kg cwt.
Trade weight Merino lambs lift $13 in reduced Muchea yarding
In Western Australia at Muchea on Tuesday, agents yarded 2792 lambs, 2330 fewer, and 5177 sheep, 1601 down.
NLRS said the fair quality lamb yarding include 727 new season lambs in good condition, but prime old lambs were in limited supply. The smaller yarding strengthened buyer competition, with trade weight new season lambs lifting $8, new season lambs over 18kg cwt sold from $90-$140.50, to average 568c/kg cwt and trade weight new season Merino lambs made to $90.
The limited numbers of trade weight old lambs were $12 dearer, with the over 18kg 3 scores making $82.50-$129 to average 522c/kg cwt. Trade weight Merinos were $13 dearer, from $75.50-$114. Light weight lambs to suit the live export market were $2 to $4 dearer, with 2 score crossbreds, 12kg-18kg cwt, making $45-$80, while 12kg-18kg cwt Merinos sold from $47-$86. Light weight lambs to the restockers made $20-$61.50 for crossbreds and $10-$75.50 for Merinos.
The lighter end of the ewes penned were $5 dearer, while better quality heavier weight ewes were firm. The 2 score Merino ewes to the processors sold from $38-$78, while restockers paid $49.50-$107.50. The better quality 3 and 4 score Merino ewes to the processors made $70.50-$100, with best crossbreds $70-$90. The 2 and 3 score wethers to the processors sold from $61-$89.50 and restockers paid to $93. Wethers to live export orders made $81-$88.
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