Markets

Over-the-hook and early lamb sales cut Murray Bridge total

Terry Sim, August 25, 2015
White Suffolk-Merino cross lambs in South Australia.

White Suffolk-Merino cross lambs in South Australia.

OVER-THE-HOOK and early store sales reduced Murray Bridge’s second new season lamb sale offering for the year yesterday to less than half the anticipated yarding.

Elders Murray Bridge agent Phil Nagel said between 7000-8000 lambs were expected for the August 24 sale, but “barely 3000” were yarded.

Mr Nagel attributed the lower yarding at the joint Elders and Landmark sale to the early sell-off of large numbers of store lambs and increased over-the-hook selling due to the season.

“I’m concerned that at our next sale (on September 14) our numbers of good lambs are going to be well back.”

The proposed September 14 sale of crossbred lambs could not be brought forward due to the scheduled annual Merino wether lamb sale on September 7, for which producers have booked 9000 new season lambs.

Mr Nagel said trade and heavy lamb prices at Monday’s sale were similar to those at the first sale two weeks ago.

“I thought our store lambs had more weight and therefore sold better than the previous sale, at $90-$105.”

Most of the store lambs sold for 580-650c/kg cwt with some lighter pens making up to 700c/kg. All the store lambs sold to south-east SA restockers around Penola.

“The last pen of lambs I sold were 13kg cwt and they made $90,” Mr Nagel said.

The better 18-22kg cwt trade lambs at Monday’s sale sold from $125-$133, with most coming out at around 600c/kg cwt. Skin values for the White Suffolk-Merino cross lambs were estimated at $6-$8.

“Trade weights made just over 600c/kg and the heavies were at around 570c/kg, which is line with everywhere else at the moment.”

Processor support included Thomas Foods International, Frewstal, Australian Lamb Company and Austral Meat.

Landmark Murray Bridge agent Kev Keller said despite the lower yarding, the sale went well, with light lambs making better prices than the first sale.

“There were plenty of good trade lambs in good fresh condition,” he said.

Eastern Mallee lamb yields prompting careful drafting

Mr Nagel said new season lambs from drier eastern Mallee areas are dressing out lighter than their liveweights would indicate, with weighed light and medium trade weight drafts coming out at 42-43 percent of on-farm live weight.

“We are just finding we’ve got to weigh a lot of lambs to maintain yield and carcase weight, and not incur underweight penalties.”

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