PRE-CHRISTMAS export processor and domestic demand for quality heavy and trade weight lambs underpinned by continued restocker interest kept saleyard prices generally firm to slightly dearer for new season drafts mid-week.
As many centres held their last sales before Christmas, processors and butchers continued their search for well-finished lambs among saleyard offerings, discounting secondary lines down to attractive restocker rates.
Prices for Wagga’s well-finished medium and heavy trade lambs with skins valued at up to $10 were $7-$11 dearer on Thursday, making $105-$145 to average 527-550c/kg cwt. Shorn heavy trade lambs also sold to solid competition and prices lifted $10 to $145-$152.
At Hamilton on Wednesday, light and medium trade new season lambs with skins worth up to $11 lifted $3-$4 to $100-$128, or 477-548c/kg. The best quality heavy lambs sold $2 dearer, with 22.1-26kg lambs with $1-$11 skins making $124-$147, or 477-544c/kg. Hamilton’s 26.1-30kg lambs with $11-$12 skins made $150-$174, or 515-545c/kg.
At Mt Gambier. Light and medium trade lambs with $5-$8 skins made $96-$129, or 450-567c/kg, and the 22.1-26kg lambs with $5-$9 skins sold for $126-$158, or 517-596c/kg. The 26.1-30kg lambs with $8-$9 skins sold from $155-$166, or 520-557c/kg.
In northern Tasmania on Tuesday, a price drop of up to $12 on lambs and $15-$20 for sheep were blamed on the expectation of an offering around 23,000 sheep and lambs at Oatlands on Thursday and a backlog of shipping across Bass Straight.
NLRS indicators mostly positive
After Thursday’s saleyard sales, the Eastern States Daily Indicators for lamb were: restocker 511c/kg, down 5 cents; Merino 416c/kg, up 14c; light 481c/kg, up 3c; trade 515c/kg, up 4c; heavy 531c/kg, up 2c. The national trade lamb indicator closed up 4 cents to 513c/kg and the heavy indice closed on 529c/kg, up 4 cents.
The ESDI for mutton fell 7 cents to 257c/kg and the national indicator finished on 266c/kg, up 1c.
Carcoar new season lambs firm
In New South Wales at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange at Carcoar on Wednesday, the agents yarded 9500 lambs, 8000 fewer than last week, and 2900 sheep, 4600 less.
The NLRS said it was a mixed yarding with only a small selection of well-finished new season lambs. Most were young trade weights and secondary lambs suitable for restockers. Most of the usual buyers attended, but only a few operated.
Light weight lambs sold firm, with the 12-18kg 2 scores selling from $55-$83. Trade weight new season lambs were also firm at $80-$120. A single pen of new season lambs sold for $160. Trade and heavy weight old lamb prices varied throughout the sale and were up to $17 cheaper, with lines over 18kg selling from $70-$118.
It was mostly a plain quality yarding of mutton with restockers and fatteners operating on most of the yarding. The few prime conditioned ewes and wethers were $5-$10 cheaper. Crossbred ewes sold from $40-$90 and for Merino wethers made to $69.
Wagga’s best trade lambs lift $7-$11
At the Wagga Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 16,000 lambs, 19,000 fewer than last week, and 7000 sheep, 3000 less.
The NLRS said it was a very mixed quality yarding in the last sale for the year. The usual export and domestic buyers attended, but not all operated fully.
Well-bred second cross store lambs were well-supplied and increased restocker activity helped lift prices higher for well-bred types. Most of the store orders were local, with some competition from Forbes and Cootamundra. New season trade lambs were in short supply and sold to stronger price trends over all categories.
Well-finished medium and heavy trade lambs were $7-$11 dearer. The better finished lambs made from $105-$145 to average 527-550c/kg cwt. Shorn heavy trade lambs sold to solid competition and prices lifted $10. Heavy shorn trade lambs averaged $140.40. Light trade lambs, 18-20kg, averaged $115. Well-bred second cross lambs made $74-$107.
Heavy and extra heavy lambs were in limited supply and all buyers were eager to capture a market share. Heavy lambs made from $145-$152. There was more weight in the extra heavy offering, but skins were shorter than the previous sale. Heavy lambs were generally unchanged to a few dollars dearer at $146-$167.
Sheep sold to stronger trade demand, generally $5-$11 dearer. The dearer trend was caused by a large field of restockers who operated over all categories of mutton. Trade sheep sold from $65-82 to average 298c/kg cwt. Heavy ewes made from $66-$88 and mostly sold 258-316c/kg cwt. Sheep returning to the paddock made $26-$98.
Hamilton light and medium trade lambs lift $3-$4
In Victoria at the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 37,932 lambs, 14,286 fewer than last week.
The NLRS said quality was plain to very good for the last Wednesday sale for 2015. More light lambs were offered to a bigger field of store buyers. The usual processors operated, but not with as much strength as the earlier market this week.
More shorn lambs are appearing and the 2 and 3 scores sold from $116-130. Restockers came from Bendigo, Albury, Penola and Swan Hill. They paid $38-$68 for the very light 1 score lambs and $57-$97 for well-bred 2 and 3 scores weighing 14-18kg cwt.
The best quality heavy lambs sold $2 dearer. Medium trade and light trade weights lifted $3-$4. Light lamb prices fell $3-$5 through the first half of the market, but gradually gained momentum in the second half to end up unchanged to firm, averaging an estimated 495c/kg cwt. The light 2 score lambs made $49-$82.
Light trade weight 2 and 3 scores sold from $82-$116 to average 500c/kg. Medium trade weight 3 scores made $100-$128 and some heavier drafts sold from $124-$137, or 477-540c/kg, averaging 520c/kg. The heavy 4 score lambs sold from $140-$147 and the extra heavy 4 and 5 scores made $150-$ 174, averaging around 530c/kg.
Horsham lambs lift $2-$5
At the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 6192 lambs, 1585 more than last week, and 2693 sheep, 916 fewer than last week.
The NLRS said the lamb yarding’s quality was average to good in the last sale for 2015, with shorn lambs in good condition and well-supplied. Most of the regular buyers operated in a dearer market.
Lambs sold $2-$5 up on last week. Unshorn young lambs reached $145, with the best of the shorn lambs making to $150. Restocking activity was steady, with lambs selling from $63-$87 and the lighter lots making $36-$60. Light weight 2 score lambs sold from $60-$85. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs made $94-$110 to average around 510c/kg cwt. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $118-$134.50, or 500-550c/kg, to average around 520c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs made $137-$145. Heavy shorn young lambs sold from $135-$150 and averaged close to 540c/kg. The medium trade weight young lambs made $112-$134 and averaged around 540c/kg.
Most sheep sold to an easier trend, back $10-$20 on last week. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $28-$45. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep sold from $48.50-$70, and ranged from 200-290c, with Merino mutton averaging around 265c/kg. Heavy 3-5 score sheep sold from $50-$76. Heavy Merino wethers sold to $66 and the medium weights to $63. Restockers also paid $44-$108 for Merino ewes and to $55 for crossbred ewes.
Hamilton sheep prices fall $5-$10
At the Hamilton saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 5328 sheep, 12,213 fewer than last week.
The NLRS said fewer buyers attended for the mixed yarding, with all weights and grades presented, but fewer Merino wethers. There was a lack of demand in the dull sale, with prices averaging $5-$10 cheaper for most sheep. Restockers bought young Merino ewes for $37-$52, good 2 score crossbred ewes for $55-$65 and 3 and 4 scores for $65-$114. The light weight 1 scores sold from $24-$48, with the 2 scores making $46-$62.
The good medium trade weight mutton 3 scores made $54-$65 and the heavy 4-5 scores sold from $58-$72. Prices ranged from mostly 177-277c/kg, with medium weights averaging close to 250c/kg. The few lines of Merino wethers, 2 and 3 score, sold from $66-$83 to restockers and from $56-$67 to processors at an estimated 270c/kg. The 2 and 3 score rams sold from $15-$29 and a pen of Merino rams made $48. Hamilton’s last lamb sale for 2015 is on December 21.
Mt Gambier lambs sell easier, sheep prices fall $10-$30
In South Australia at the Mt Gambier saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 8812 lambs, 3319 fewer than last week, and 1175 sheep, 473 more.
The NLRS said the mixed quality offering sold to fewer buyers.
Demand was steady to a little easier for some lambs, but once off the better quality run of trade and heavy weight lambs most suited restockers. Some good quality new season lambs are coming through and one agent had several heavy to extra heavy weight pen lots. There was also some good quality trade and heavy weight shorn lambs for processors. The 2 score light weight lambs were mainly bought by restockers for $70-$96. The light trade weight lambs sold from $92-$105 and from $88-$106 to restockers. Medium to heavy weight 3 score trade lambs sold from $96-$129. The heavy 4 score lambs made $130-$158 and extra heavy weights sold to $166. Hoggets sold from $52-$86 and a pen of young ewe lambs went to a restocker for $155.
Prices were $10-$30 weaker for sheep and there was no demand for rams. Processors discounted some lines, but restocker bidding lessened price falls and they also purchased cheap pen lots. The 2 and 3 score medium weight sheep made $32-$45 and the heavy weight 3-5 scores sold from $42, but mainly made $50-$70. Rams sold from $5-$20.
Katanning market underpinned by restockers
In Western Australia at the Katanning saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 6000 lambs, 5000 fewer than last week, and 19,546 sheep, 4868 more.
The NLRS said it was a mixed quality lamb and sheep offering. The usual trade buyers attended and graziers bid strongly on store ewes and also bought discounted unfinished lambs.
Light weight new season lambs sold from $56-$70 and trade weights made $89-$115. Heavy weights made from $124-$130. Store crossbred lambs sold for as little as $5 to restockers and feeders and made up to $94 for almost finished lines. Very light Merino store lambs also sold down to $5 and better quality lambs made to $50.
Ewe mutton prices eased by up to $10. Restockers paid from $22 for plain, light store young Merino ewes, and up to $93 for better quality ewes and to $95 for young wethers. Light ewes sold from $20-$55. Boner ewes made $40-$45, while the better 3 score mutton sold from $45 for bare shorn sheep up to $85 for those with a fleece. Restockers paid $10-$68 for Merino ewes, depending on quality. Wethers sold to $110 to processors, and from $56-$100 to restockers and feeders, depending on quality and weight. Young rams sold to $200 to graziers, while the older rams made $5-$39 to the trade.
Warwick lambs to $149
In Queensland at the Warwick saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 1918 lambs and hoggets, and 359 sheep.
The market was quoted as firm on last week’s rates for a similar yarding of sheep and lambs. The t-priced 65.3kg lwt lambs from Chris and Annie Muir of ‘Glen Elva’, Millmerran, sold for $149.
Crossbred lambs 46-55kg lwt sold from $130-$141, 42-45kg lambs made $125-$145, 36-42kg lines ranged from $110-$125 and the 35-40kg lambs sold for $106-$117.
Shorn crossbred hoggets 53.2kg lwt sold to $94. Trade wethers with skins valued at $5 sold to $80, or 325c/kg cwt. Heavy crossbred ewes with $15 skins sold to $81, or 315c/kg, and light ewes with $10 skins made to $56, or 265c/kg.
Tasmania’s store lambs sell $8-$12 cheaper
In the northern Tasmanian saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 2800 lambs, 450 more than last week, and 1670 sheep, 580 fewer.
There was a larger yarding of lambs at Powranna and Killafaddy on Tuesday with a large percentage store lambs. Good quality heavy trade and heavy lambs sold firm, but all other grades were $2-$8 cheaper and almost all store pens were $8-$12 cheaper.
Restockers bought more than 60pc of the lamb yarding, paying $20-$45 for very light lambs, $39-$76 for light weights and $60-$95 for light and medium trade weights. The trade paid $71-$95 for light trade lambs, $89-$117 for trade pens, $117-$130 for heavy weights and $134-$135 for the few extra heavy pens.
Sheep sold $15-$20 cheaper, with mutton prices at the lowest levels seen at the yards for more than 12 months. Light sheep made $20-$38, medium weights sold from $30-$49 and heavy weight made from $25-$50. The price drop was due to the expectation of around 23,000 sheep and lambs sold at Oatlands on Thursday and a backlog of shipping across Bass Straight. Most works are trying clean up what they have already booked in before the Christmas break, the NLRS said.
Sources: NLRS, AuctionsPlus.