QUALITY trade lamb prices finished the week firm in Victoria, but dearer in New South Wales saleyards.
In NSW, at Cowra and Griffith, light and medium new season trade lambs with $3-$10 skins made $108-$134.50, or 491-575c/kg, and lambs over 22kg cwt with similar skins sold for $127-$155, or 500-557c/kg. Light slaughter lambs, 12.1-18kg cwt, with $1-$9 skins sold for $67-$109, or 431-646c/kg.
In Victoria at the Shepparton sale yards, the 18.1-22kg trade lambs with skins valued at up to $11 made $90-$122, or 415-509c/kg, and heavier drafts, with skins worth up to $12, sold from $11.50-$132, or 458-508c/kg. Shepparton’s 12-18kg cwt young lambs with $3-$8 skins sold from $64-$97.50, or 387-514c/kg.
NLRS lamb indicators mostly firm
The disparity in lamb prices between Victoria and NSW balanced out in the Eastern States Daily Indicator rates, with ESDIs mostly firm. Only trade lambs rates failed to make gains during the past week. After Friday’s saleyard sales, the ESDIs for lamb, and their daily and weekly changes were: restocker 543c/kg, unchanged on Friday, up 24 cents for the week; Merino 459c/kg, down 2c, up 4c; light 492c/kg, up 1c, up 9c; trade 502c/kg, unchanged, down 9c; heavy 503c/kg, unchanged, up 1c. The national trade and heavy lamb indicators were unchanged at 504c/kg.
The ESDI for mutton closed up one cent on Friday at 335c/kg, up two cents for the week, and the national indicator was firm on 334c/kg.
Store lambs dominate AuctionsPlus offering
Store lambs dominated AuctionsPlus sales last week, making up nearly half of the online market and attracting restocker demand.
Sheep and lamb numbers increased by just over 4000 to 46,014 head on AuctionsPlus last week.
Restockers paid from $73-$92 for 22-24kg lwt store lambs, and $82- $94 for 28-30kg lambs. The 33-34kg lambs sold from $77-$99.50, with the top price being paid for White Suffolk/Merino cross lambs estimated at 13.7kg cwt at Wanganella, NSW. The 37-38kg lambs averaged $96, and the top price was $104 for second cross composites estimated at 18.4kg cwt at Coolac. NSW. The heaviest lambs, 39-41kg cwt, made $94-$111. The top price was paid for unshorn June-July drop 18.7kg cwt second cross Poll Dorset suckers at Crookwell, NSW.
Merino wether numbers dropped on AuctionsPlus last week, with the lambs averaging $80. Pastora blood wether lambs at Ariah Park, NSW, weighing 48kg lwt sold for the top price of $88.50.
A large offering of maiden Merino ewes made from $71 in on online sales, up to $131 for unjoined 16-17 month-old Willandra blood ewes weighing 51kg lwt at Moulamein, NSW. Older proven breeders averaged $102 and aged ewes sold for $98-$125. The top price was for unjoined 5-5.5 year-old early October shorn Pooginook blood ewes at Cootamundra, NSW. Older Bullamon Plains and Pooginook blood unjoined ewes with young White Suffolk lambs at foot and a 2” skin from Dirranbandi made $165.
First cross Border Leicester/Merino future breeders attracted strong interest from buyers on AuctionsPlus this week, with unjoined ewe lambs making $117-$145. The top price was paid for April-May drop early October shorn ewes weighing 42kg lwt at Lucindale, South Australia. First cross hoggets averaged $134 and a small line of unjoined April shorn two year-olds at Serpentine, Victoria sold for $150.
Cowra trade lambs $4-$6 dearer
In New South Wales at the Cowra saleyards, the agents yarded 7340 lambs, 1380 fewer than last week, and 1650 sheep, 370 less.
The NLRS said the quality of the trade and heavy lambs was very good and a few shorn new season lambs are starting to appear. Mainly trade weights were penned, with fewer heavy lambs and a good supply of stores. All the usual buyers operated and competition was stronger, resulting in a dearer market.
Light lambs sold to processors averaged around $106, while store lambs made $87-$105. Medium and heavy trade weights new seasons were $4-$6 dearer at 550c/kg cwt. Most of the better heavy trade weight lambs sold from $125-$134. Heavy weights were firm to $2 dearer at 530-540c/kg. A few pens of extra heavy weight new season lambs sold from $146-$152.
Sheep quality was generally good, with plenty of heavy ewes penned. Heavy first cross ewes were $3 cheaper at $82-$94.70, or around 300c/kg cwt. A few pens of quality first cross ewes sold to local restockers for $128-$181. Heavy wethers averaged $93.70.
Griffith trade lambs sell to $120
In the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 2750 lambs, 1750 more than last week, and 3000 sheep, 1860 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was very mixed, with some handy lines of finished heavy and extra heavyweight lambs and plainer types offered. Most of the usual buyers competed.
Light new season lambs averaged $108. Trade weights sold from $108-$120. Heavy lambs made $127-$134 and extra heavyweights $140-$155. Carcase prices ranged from 525-550c/kg. Old light and trade weight lambs ranged from $95-$116. Heavy lambs averaged $128 and extra heavy weights sold from $141-$145.
The sheep were mostly Merinos and quality was mixed. Merino ewes sold from $72-$110. Crossbred ewes made $71-$94.
Shepparton’s secondary trade lambs $2-$4 cheaper
In Victoria at the Shepparton saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 3120 lambs, 120 more than last week, and 3000 sheep, 1800 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was plainer than last week, with many smaller pen lots of mixed grades yarded.
Prices were mostly firm for the few better quality trade and export lambs. Some of the secondary domestic lambs showed an easier trend of $2-$4, with carcase finish and dryness a factor. The market reached a top of $132 for a pen of 10 heavy young lambs. The supply of heavy slaughter lambs was limited with just two pens over $130 and about 10 sales above $120.
The general run of trade weight slaughter lambs sold from $106-$117 and lighter kill types made $92-$105. On a carcase basis, a range of 470-490c/kg covered most sales of the better finished young lambs.
Restockers from Corowa and the local area paid from $97-$106 for bigger store lambs over about 18kg cwt, while smaller store lambs sold to the paddock mostly made $75-$88.
The sheep were mostly heavy crossbred ewes, and excess cover was an issue for some buyers in the cheaper result. Most heavy crossbred ewes sold from $71-$90 and a big line of more than 300 head sold to a restocker for $85. Light and trade mutton sold from $45-$70 and also trended cheaper compared to the last sale.
Click here for last week’s NLRS National Sheep and Lamb Indicator Report.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.