Markets

Quality lamb prices firm as market breathes after Easter

Sheep Central, April 4, 2016
These 225 unshorn July-September drop White Suffolk cross lambs, 17.5kg cwt and mostly score 2, sold for $107 at Mirranatwa, Victoria, on AuctionsPlus last week.

These 225 unshorn July-September drop White Suffolk cross lambs, 17.5kg cwt and mostly score 2, sold for $107 at Mirranatwa, Victoria, on AuctionsPlus last week.

QUALITY trade and heavy lamb prices finished generally firm in saleyards late last week, while light lambs were firm to cheaper.

However, the influence of secondary draft rates lowered eastern states and national industry indicators.

After Friday’s sales – only Cowra and Griffith in New South Wales – the National Livestock Reporting Service quoted all Eastern States Daily Indicators for lambs except for Merinos as lower.

The ESDIs are: restocker 546c/kg, down 5 cents; Merino 471c/kg, no change; light 513c/kg, down 2c; trade 523c/kg, down 3c; heavy 517c/kg, down 2c. The national trade lamb indicator closed down 2 cents on 523c/kg and the heavy indice is on 516c/kg, down 3 cents.

The ESDI for mutton finished the week firm on 302c/kg and the national indicator is at 301c/kg, up 1 cent.

AuctionsPlus numbers contract

AuctionsPlus said sheep and lamb numbers contracted by 13,978 head after the Easter long weekend to 26,291.

The online market was steady this week as buyers were hesitant due to the prolonged dry conditions across much of the eastern states, market operations supervisor Anna Adams said.

Merino ewe numbers were back on recent weeks due to the Easter break. However, young Merino ewes featured strongly, ranging from $84-$125, to average $100. The top price was paid for a line from 17-19 month-old Titanga blood ewes scanned in lamb to Border Leicester rams at Lismore in Victoria. The 45kg lwt ewes had a 4cm skin. A large offering of old Merino ewes from Cockburn in South Australia sold for an average of $90. These 5 and 6 year-old Mutooroo blood ewes weighed 56kg lwt, were scanned in lamb to Merino rams and sold off-shears.

Merino wether lamb numbers were back on previous weeks and the prices ranged from $73-$83, averaging $77. The top-priced lambs were Gullengamble and Boxleigh blood wethers from Nyngan in New South Wales, averaged 38kg lwt and carried a 6.5cm skin.

Store lambs weighing under 30kg lwt sold from $53-$82.50 to average $71 or 281c/kg liveweight including skin value, 31-35kg lines made $64.50-$96.50 to average $84 or 264c/kg, the 36-40kg lambs ranged from $90-$104 to average $97 or 248c/kg and heavy lambs over 40kg made $97-$107 to average $103 or 243c/kg.

The tops of the first cross future breeders was a tidy line from Skipton, Victoria. The 46kg lwt June-July 2015-drop lambs had a 4cm skin and sold for $147. White Dorper ewe lambs at Kapunda, South Australia, sold for $140. The 5-6 month-old White Dorper ewes averaged 39kg lwt.

Griffith’s trade and heavy lambs firm

In New South Wales at the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 8680 lambs, 1565 fewer than last week, and 2819 sheep, 797 more.

The NLRS said the quality of the heavy and extra heavy lambs was good. There were more trade weights, but some were dry in the skin and lacked the finish required. Store lambs were in short supply. Not all the usual buyers operated in a market that started softly and gained momentum through the sale.

Light processing lambs sold from $74 and $104. Trade lambs remained similar to a fortnight ago at the end of the sale, with the medium and heavy trade weights mostly selling from $100-$125 or from 500-520c/kg cwt.

Heavy lambs sold firm, from $123-$144 and extra heavy lambs were slightly cheaper, reaching $175. Heavy and extra heavy lambs mainly sold from 460-500c/kg cwt. The best hogget made $121.

Sheep quality was good, with plenty of heavy weights. Heavy sheep eased $3-$6, while the medium weights were similar. Medium weights sold from $60-78, heavy Merinos made $95-$132 and crossbred ewes sold to $132.

Cowra’s light lambs $4 cheaper

At the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 6950 lambs, 3265 fewer than last week, and 1590 sheep, 940 more.

The NLRS said lamb quality was generally good across all grades and particularly in the very well finished heavy lambs. There were more secondary lambs lacking finish. Mainly trade and heavy weights were penned, with fewer store lambs suitable for restockers. All buyers were present except for one and competition was variable resulting in a firm to slightly cheaper market.

Light lambs sold $4 cheaper to processors and averaged around $92, while store lambs mainly sold from $69-$105. Medium and heavy trade weights were mostly firm and sold mostly from 500-510c/kg cwt. The better heavy trade weights sold from $115-$120. Heavy weight lambs sold to a cheaper trend and most made 480-500c/kg. A few pens of extra heavy weight lambs sold from $160-$170.

Sheep quality was very mixed. Medium Merino ewes were $5 cheaper and averaged $68 or 300c/kg. Heavy first cross ewes sold firm to dearer, with most making $79-$100 or 290-300c/kg.

Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.

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