SHEEP producers looking to rebuild flocks dominated bidding on AuctionsPlus last week.
AuctionsPlus market operations officer Anna Adams said young breeders across all sheep types enticed buyer activity after wide spread rain across much of the eastern states.
The rainfall cut saleyard offerings in NSW on Friday, keeping prices firm for quality slaughter lambs, while mutton rates lifted. In Victoria at Shepparton, quality trade and heavy lamb prices came back to be equal to the northern levels, while the sheep rates lifted to mostly match the NSW cwt prices.
After the close of saleyard sales on Friday, the National Livestock Reporting Service quoted its national and Eastern States Daily Indicators for most lamb and mutton as firm to slightly cheaper. Restocker lambs registered the biggest fall for the week of 44 cents in eastern states saleyards, back to 530c/kg cwt, with the other categories falling 10-15c/kg.
The lamb ESDI daily and weekly changes are: restocker 530c/kg, no change, down 44 cents; Merino 524c/kg, down 3c, down 10c; light 552c/kg, down 2c, down 15c; trade 573c/kg, no change, down 10c; heavy 576c/kg, down 2c, down 13c. The national trade lamb indicator fell one cent on Friday to 573c/kg and the heavy lamb indice is down 2 cents to 576c/kg.
The national and ESDI for mutton is down one cent at 386c/kg, a 6-cent fall for the week in the east.
AuctionsPlus sheep and lamb numbers steady
Ms Adams said sheep and lamb numbers were steady at 39,445 head last week, with buyers looking for young breeders for flock rebuilding.
The top-priced line of Merino ewe lambs last week made $157.50. The 440 11-13 month-old 56kg lwt Murgha blood lambs from Deniliquin NSW had a 4.5cm skin and were unjoined.
“This trend for future breeders followed through to Merino hoggets and young breeders.
“Merino ewe hoggets made $74.50- $167, with an average of $117.”
The top lot of hoggets was a mob of unjoined full wool Studall blood 52kg ewes from Wallaloo Victoria. Ms Adams said a large offering of proven breeders made $105-$155, averaging $125.
She said the bulk of the Merino wether offered was lambs that made $58.50-$90.50, averaging $71 and up $4 on last week.
First cross ewe lambs sell for $115-$164
First cross ewe lambs offered ranged from $115-$164, with an average of $142, up $15 on last week. A number of lines of Cashmore Park blood composite ewes offered this week from Hamilton, Victoria, drew buyer interest and averaged $139. The top-priced mob from this feature were five-year-old ewes scanned in lamb to Cashmore Park blood rams that made $157. 222 A line of 222 unjoined Border Leicester-Dohne ewes, 10-11 mths, sold for $165 at Forbes.
Ms Adams said prices for a small offering of store lambs firmed this week, with lines weighing 30-32kg lwt making $70.50-$87 and averaging $81 or 657c/kg cwt. Lambs weighing 40-42kg made $113.50-$118, averaging $115 or 676c/kg. The heaviest store lambs offered weighed 44-46kg and sold for $115-$117, averaging $119 or 609c/kg.
Cowra heavy lambs $4-$9 dearer
In NSW at the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 4200 lambs, 800 fewer than last week, and 700 sheep, 100 less.
The NLRS said quality continues to be good for the fresh trade and heavy lambs. Most of the yarding was trade and heavy weights, with limited secondary and store lambs supplies. Competition was solid from the usual buyers, resulting in a dearer trend.
Light lambs to the processors averaged $104. Medium and heavy trade weights were $3-$8 dearer and averaged from 566-590c/kg cwt. Most of the good heavy trade weights sold from $130-$142. Heavy weight lambs were $4-$9 dearer and averaged from 544-586c/kg. A few pens of extra heavy weight lambs with estimated carcase weights of 30kg-plus sold from $175-$185.
Mutton quality was fair and mainly ewes were yarded. Medium Merino ewes were firm and averaged $91.90, or 401c/kg cwt. Heavy first cross ewes were $2 dearer and averaged $119.50, or 358c/kg.
Rain cuts Griffith yarding
In the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 2773 lambs, 5970 fewer than last week, and 457 sheep, 1906 less.
The NLRS said numbers declined significantly after widespread rain in the drawing. Lamb quality was similar to that of previous weeks, with well-finished and plainer lambs. The usual buyers competed in a market that showed a dearer trend for the quality offered.
Light lambs averaged $109. Trade weight lambs ranged from $118-$145. Heavy weight lambs received from $148-$155. Extra heavy weights sold from $154-$200. Carcase prices ranged from 568-603c/kg cwt. Trade and heavy weight Merino lambs sold from $116-$151.
Mutton quality was very mixed, with mostly crossbred ewes yarded. Prices continued to be strong with Merino ewes averaging $90. Crossbred ewes sold from $78-$138.
Shepparton sheep prices lift $10
In Victoria at the Shepparton saleyards, the agents yarded 500 lambs, 1900 fewer than last week, and 300 sheep, 310 less.
The NLRS said quality from plain to good. The extra buyers from last week were missing and this put downward pressure on lamb prices. Three to four pens of trade weight lambs were passed in but all others sold on a cheaper trend. Accurate quotes were hard to compare with the limited numbers in most categories and weight ranges.
The better quality trade weight 3 score lambs sold from $116-$128, or mainly from 570-590c/kg cwt. Plainer quality sheep and 2 scores made from $104. Light trade weight 2 score lambs made from $85, but the better quality sold for $94-$106. The one pen of heavy weight 4 score lambs made $165.
Sheep prices lifted by up to $10. The token offering of sheep was principally 2 and 3 score ewes, with just the one pen of heavy weight 4 scores. The medium weight 2 and 3 scores sold from $89-$95 and the 3 score heavy weights made $105-$112. The one pen of heavy weight 4 score ewes sold for $124. Most ewes ranged from 380-410c/kg cwt. Two pens of young rams sold at $68 and $73.50, while the odd few older rams mainly made $50.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.