EXTRA heavy old lamb prices slumped by up to $27 at the Wagga Wagga saleyards on Thursday as buyers increasingly switch over to new season drafts and exporter demand fluctuates.
Domestic competition on trade weight new season lambs also weakened again mid-week, but restockers were active in most saleyards, underpinning the National Livestock Reporting Service’s Eastern States Daily Indicators for restocker, Merino and light lambs.
Quality light weight new season lambs, 12.1-18kg cwt, fared best in New South Wales and Victorian saleyards, selling up to 664c/kg at Wagga and to 617c/kg at Horsham. But trade and export weight young lamb rates did not go above 590c/kg in the east, only hitting 600c/kg at Katanning in Western Australia.
Buyers take trade and heavy new season lamb ranges lower
At Carcoar’s Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange on Wednesday, the 12.1-18kg new season lambs with $3-$6 skins made $73-$92, or 435-540c/kg. The 18.1-22kg trade weights with $5-$8 skins sold from $102-$126, or 470-560c/kg, and some 24.1-26kg lambs with $8 skins made $140, or 528c/kg.
At the Wagga saleyards, the light young lambs with $1-412 skins made $64.60-$108, or 404-664c/kg, and the 18.1-22kg lines with skins valued at up to $10 sold from $96-$130, or 430-562c/kg. The 22.1-26kg lines with $5-$11 skins made $88-$145, or 346-539c/kg, and 26.1-30kg lambs with $11 skins ranged from $144-$146, or 493-500c/kg.
In Victoria at the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the 0-12kg new season lambs with $2-$3 skins made $41-$70, or 488-610c/kg, and the 12.1-18gk lines with $1-$7 skins sold from $62-$118, or 443-617c/kg. The light and medium trade weights with $6-$8 skins made $100-$131, or 495-590c/kg, and the heavier lambs with $8-$9 skins ranged from $122-$146, or 496-557c/kg.
At Hamilton, a line of 16.1-18 new season lambs with $5 skins made $110, or 583c/kg, and some 22.1-24kg lambs with $8 skins sold for $137, or 561c/kg.
At Ouyen yesterday, export weight new season crossbred lambs sold from $132-$148, or 520-540c/kg cwt, and the trade weights made $95-$140, or 530-560c/kg.
At the Katanning saleyards, the 012kg young lambs with skins value up to $5 made $35-$50, or 250-417c/kg, and the 12.1-18kg lines with skins valued at up to $8 sold from $35-$109, or 262-589c/kg. The 18.1-22kg lambs with skins valued at up to $6 made $90-$127, or 430-600c/kg.
NLRS trade and heavy lamb indicators fall further
After Thursday’s saleyard sales, the NLRS Eastern States Daily Indicators for lambs were: restocker 582c/kg, down 2 cents; Merino 462c/kg, no change; light 505c/kg, up 2c; trade 525c/kg, down 4c; heavy 523c/kg, down 3c. The national trade lamb indicator closed down 8 cents to 525c/kg and the heavy indice is on 522c/kg, down 5 cents.
The ESDI for mutton closed down 6 cents to 357c/kg and the national indicator also fell 6 cents to 356c/kg.
Carcoar lambs cheaper
In New South Wales at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange at Carcoar, the agents yarded 2800 lambs, 650 fewer than last week, and 1800 sheep, 600 more.
The NLRS said it was a mixed yarding with a few pens of well-finished new season lambs, although the older lambs were mostly plain. Lightweight lambs were $6 cheaper, with the 12-18kg 2 scores selling from $66-$80. Trade weight new season lambs were $4 cheaper at $92-$126, to average 533c/kg cwt. A single pen of over 24kg cwt new season lambs sold for $140.
Trade and heavy weight old lambs were considerably cheaper, with lambs over 18kg making $82-$133. Trade weight Merinos sold from $82-$90. Restockers paid to $90 and hoggets sold to $99.
It was a mostly plain quality yarding of sheep, with restockers and fatteners operating on most of the yarding. The few prime conditioned ewes and wethers sold $8-$14 cheaper at $80-$100 for crossbred ewes and to $98 for Merino wethers. Wethers sold to restockers at $30-$72.
Wagga’s extra heavy old lambs take $17-$27 hit
At the Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 23,000 lambs, 2000 fewer, and 7500 sheep, 100 less.
The NLRS said the quality of the new season lambs was excellent, with more than 13,000 penned. Old lambs numbers declined and quality varied, with several buyers ditching old lambs altogether. All the usual domestic buyers attended, but very few export processors operated. New season lambs were well-supplied and suitable trade lines sold to much weaker demand.
Well-finished drafts of 22-24kg cwt lambs made from $124-$138 to average 518c/kg cwt. Lambs weighing 20-22kg found a little more buyer support to average 529c/kg. Ideal spring conditions helped underpin prices for the lighter weight portion, with plenty of local and northern store orders in place. Well-bred second cross lambs returning to the paddock made from $99-$110.
Old trade lamb quality was plainer, with longer wool lambs again this week discounted. The better finished lambs, 21-24kg, sold from $107-$134, with heavy trade lambs averaging 499c/kg. There was a mixed selection of heavy and extra heavy lambs offered and they sold to limited competition, falling $17-$27. The best old heavy lambs reached a top price of $149 to average 470c/kg.
Sheep quality very good, with plenty of weight. A fair percentage of sheep were medium and heavy weight shorn Merino wethers and ewes. Merino trade sheep eased $5 to 341c/kg cwt. Heavy ewes sold up to $13 cheaper at $88-$110.20, averaging 310-350c/kg. Merino wethers were well-supplied and the heavier pens made $91-$102. Merino ewes in full wool with a $35 skin were keenly contested by restockers and the better drafts made $98-$119.
Horsham lambs ease $10-$12
In Victoria at the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 7673 lambs, 1806 more than last week, and 5040 sheep, 356 fewer.
The NLRS said the young lamb yarding increased to 7500, with most the usual buyers operating.
Competition was not as strong, with lambs generally selling $10-$12 easier and lighter lambs $4-$5 easier. Trade weight and heavy lambs were in reasonable numbers and quality was average with the better presented lambs meeting keener competition to be least affected.
Restockers were active and paid mostly from $62-$85 and from $40-$50 for lighter lots. Light weight 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $82-$94. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs made $93-$125 and averaged around 550c/kg cwt. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $112-$131, with the heavier weights making $122-$140, or 500-580c/kg to average around 540c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $143-$146, averaging around 545c/kg.
The good quality yarding of sheep included Merinos and crossbreds, but fewer Merino wethers. Sheep generally sold $2-$10 easier.
Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $48-$84. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep sold from $69.50-$105.50, or 320-400c/kg, with Merino mutton averaging around 380c/kg cwt. Heavy 3 to 5 score sheep sold from $81-$110.50. Heavy Merino wethers sold from $92-$112 and the medium weights made to $90, or around 395-400c/kg. Rams sold from $42-$97.
Hamilton lambs $5-$10 cheaper
At the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 1597 lambs, 93 more than last week, and 1708 sheep, 62 fewer.
The NLRS said lamb quality was mostly plain to average. The yarding included the final drafts of old lambs and two pens of new season lambs. Only a core group of buyers attended.
Light trade and medium weight old lambs sold $5-$10 easier and prices for the fewer pens of heavy old lambs remained unchanged.
The 2 pens of new season lambs made $110-$137, or 560-580c/kg cwt. Light weight old 1 score lambs sold from $48-$55 and light trade 2 score old lambs made $65-$93. Trade weight old 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $96-$120, or from 470-550c/kg, to average 520c/kg. Heavy trade 3 and 4 score lambs made $130-$135, at an estimated 540c/kg.
The sheep yarding included some quality pens of heavy crossbred ewes and medium Merino wethers. Light weight sheep prices were also unchanged, but medium mutton eased slightly, mostly from $2-$3 and up to $5, and heavier sheep stayed firm. There was some restocker activity, mainly for the Merino wethers.
The light 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $32-$55, and medium 2 and 3 score mutton made $65-$85, or 350-385c/kg cwt, to average 365c/kg. The heavy weight 3 and 4 score sheep sold from $91-$98 at an estimated 310c/kg Medium weight 2 and 3 score Merino wethers made $75-$102, at an average of 390c/kg. The better hoggets sold from $81-$122. Rams of all breeds made $65-$87.
Ouyen sheep and lambs dip $5-$10
At the Ouyen Livestock Exchange on Thursday, the agents offered 6909 new season lambs, 2171 old lambs and 4575 sheep.
Following market trends, prices for all weights and grades of heavy and trade lambs were $5-$10 down on the last sale two weeks ago.
Competition was strong for local store lambs, with prices reaching a top of $113. Sheep also sold $5-$10 cheaper.
Export weight new season crossbred lambs sold from $132-$148, or 520-540c/kg cwt, trade weights made $95-$140, or 530-560c/kg, and store lines ranged from $70-$113, or 540-580c/kg.
Light Merino lambs sold from $41-$85, or 450-480c/kg, and heavy lines made $80-$113, or 410-460c/kg.
Light sheep sold from $38-$88, 300-380c/kg cwt and heavy weights made $82-$115.
Katanning lamb quality mixed
In Western Australia at the Katanning saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 6000 lambs, 1000 more than last week, and 7914 sheep, 2941 more.
The NLRS said it was a mixed quality yarding. New season lamb quality was mixed, with the best making $127. All the usual buyers attended.
Trade weight new season lambs sold from $90-$127, and medium weights made $56-$94. Lightweight store new season lambs sold for $35-$50. Crossbred trade weight old lambs made $75-$90. Air freight lambs sold from $60-$90. Store crossbred lambs to restockers sold from $47-$80. Merino store lambs sold from $56-$78.
Young Merino ewes sold to restockers for $59-$70 and store wethers made $75-$103. Ewe prices were back by $5-$10. Bare shorn light ewes sold for $25 and those with a full fleece made to $65. The bare shorn 2 score processor mutton sheep sold from $57 and those with a 75mm fleece made to $81. The better bare shorn 3 score sheep sold for $62 and those with a fleece made $90.
Wether and ram prices were back $5-$10 and processors paid to $86 for wethers. Restockers and feeders paid $40-$91, depending on quality and weight. Bare shorn live export wethers sold for $90 and those with a fleece made to $110. Young rams sold to $85 and aged rams made $5-$35. Young rams suitable for live export sold for $65-$90, depending on weight.
Warwick market cheaper
In Queensland at the Warwick saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 1804 lambs and hoggets, and 877 sheep.
The top-priced lambs in the sale made $139 for Whetstone Organics of Inglewood. The Warwick Selling Agents said the market was cheaper for all descriptions, in line with southern markets.
Crossbred lambs 46-55kg lwt sold from $124-$135, 42-45kg lambs made $122-$139, the 36-42kg lines ranged from $110-$117 and the 35-40kg lambs made $100-$110. Shorn crossbred hoggets, 51.3kg lwt sold to $116.0.
In the sheep pens, trade wethers with $8 skins sold to $77, or 390c/kg cwt, and light wethers with $4 skins made to $55, or 310kg. Heavy crossbred ewes with $10 skins sold to $82, or 385c/kg, and light ewes with $8 skins made to $48, or 295c/kg.
Sources: MLA, NLRS.