Extra heavy 4 score sheep prices lifted $9-$10 at Hamilton on Thursday, ranging from 310c/kg-400c/kg cwt and rates for quality mutton pushed the 400c/kg cwt mark at Carcoar and Wagga.
After Thursday’s sales, the National Livestock Reporting Service’s Eastern State Mutton Indicator moved up 11 cents to 356c/kg cwt, though the national indice increased just once cent to 345c/kg, with little overall movement in WA saleyard sheep rates.
The ES lamb indicators also increased again mid-week with the biggest movements being in restocker lambs, up 11 cents to 587c/kg cwt; Merinos, up 7 cents to 489c/kg cwt and light lambs, rising 8 cents to 534c/kg cwt.
The ES heavy lamb indicator closed at 563c/kg cwt, up 5 cents and the trade lamb indice rose 3 cents to 548c/kg cwt.
Carcoar mutton makes to 394c/kg cwt
At the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange at Carcoar on Wednesday, the agents yarded 9950 lambs, 29950 more than last week, and 4230 sheep, 1830 more.
The NLRS said most of the yarding was new season lambs. There were ample numbers of well-bred light weights suitable for restockers, with most selling to Cowra area producers. Well-finished lambs were well-supplied and the usual orders competed in a solid market.
Lightweight new season lambs to the restockers gained $6 and ranged from $87-$116, with the heavier end making to $121. Trade weight new season lambs lifted $3-$4, to $112-$128, or an average of 585c/kg-592c/kg cwt. The heavier new season lambs gained $3, with the best making $135-$160, or from 550c/kg-578c/kg cwt. The older lambs suitable for the processors sold from $122-$159.
The sheep yarding included a good number of crossbred ewes, with some carrying plenty of weight. Prices remained solid in all categories, with the medium and heavy weights ranging from $66-$114.50, or 350c/kg-394c/kg cwt.
Best Wagga mutton 365-375c/kg cwt
At the Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 23,300 lambs, 6000 fewer than last week, and 9350 sheep, 2100 less.
The NLRS said lamb quality improved with more weight a feature of the yarding. There was an excellent run of heavy and extra heavy lambs, but fewer trade and light store lambs.
The usual buyers competed in a much dearer market. Most categories lifted $8-$10 with some of the lighter store and trade lambs gaining $15-$18.
Restockers paid $78-$120 for most of the store lambs. The medium and heavy shorn trade lambs ranged from $116-$149, averaging 590c/kg cwt. Heavy lambs sold from $138-$165 to average around 600c/kg cwt. Extra heavy lambs made from $169-$198, or 520c/kg-530c/kg cwt.
Mutton quality was good. Heavy weights were well-supplied and sold $6-$8 better, while the medium weights were firm. Medium weight ewes sold from $64-$90. Heavy weight ewes made $88-$127, with most of the better covered sheep making 365c/kg-375c/kg cwt.
Hamilton’s medium trade lambs 570-500c/kg cwt
In Victoria at the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 11,304 lambs, 8294 fewer than last week.
The NLRS said lamb the quality was better with more weight and condition. All the usual buyers attended and some didn’t operate fully during the sale. However, this didn’t seem to affect the market as prices trended dearer and light trade weights sold $6 better. Medium trade weight lambs were $8-$10 dearer and the heavier 4 score lambs were $4-$6 dearer as well. These sold at improved prices due to an export buyer operating more than at the previous sale.
Restockers from South Australia and northern Victoria, combined with more local competition, helped maintain firm prices on light 1 and 2 score lambs at $63-$97. Light trade 2 and 3 scores sold from $101-$115. Medium trade lambs made from $115-$128 to gain the most, making around 570c/kg-600c/kg cwt. Heavy trade 3 and 4 scores made around 570c/kg cwt.
Horsham heavy lambs firm
At the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 7388 lambs, 2467 fewer than last week, and 2199 sheep, 218 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was very good. Heavy and extra heavy lambs were best supplied. There was a limited number of tradeweights and a handy run of heavier store lambs. All the usual buyers operated in a mostly firm to slightly dearer market.
Shorn lambs made up the majority of the offering and store lambs of 15-19kg cwt sold from $68-$115. Trade weight shorn lambs averaged $3 cheaper with more secondary lambs. Medium and heavy trade weights made $97-$129, or 535c/kg-540c/kg cwt. Heavy lambs were firm, selling from $130-$151.50 to average around 550c/kg cwt. Extra heavy weights sold to $179.50.
Mutton quality was good. Heavy weights made up the majority and sold up to $4 dearer, while medium weights were $7-$15 dearer. Medium weight ewes sold from $75-$85, while heavy weights were from $90-$123 and heavy Merino wethers from $100-$113.50.
Heavy Hamilton sheep to 400c/kg cwt
At the Hamilton saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 19,379 sheep, 1514 fewer than last week.
The NLRS said with a larger field of processor buyers, the market opened up stronger to tail off a little towards the end of the sale. There was a vast range in mutton types, with sheep in better condition than in last sale. There was no significant restocker activity. Light sheep were $3-$4 dearer, especially in earlier sales, selling mainly from 270c/kg-350c/kg cwt. Medium trade 2 to 3 score mutton was $5-$8 dearer and heavy trade 3 and 4 score and the extra heavy 4 score sheep prices lifted $9-$10, ranging from 310c/kg-400c/kg cwt in the early stages.
Light 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $43-$72. Medium 2 and 3 score mutton were from $60-$96. Heavy 3 to 4 scores and extra heavy 4 scores sold from $95-$119. The best Merino wethers were up to $5 dearer, selling from $95-$117, at around 360c/kg cwt. Rams again sold to a little more competition, with the Merino rams making up to $58 and the best of the Poll Dorsets to $50.
Heavy Mt Gambier ewes $12 dearer
In SA at the Mt Gambier saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 2929 lambs, 4586 fewer than last week, and 241 sheep, 552 less.
The NLRS said the reduced yarding sold to the usual trade and processor buyers. The yarding lacked weight and quality overall, leaving the trade and processors limited options to fill orders. This let the small restocker presence purchase significant numbers amid some strong bidding. Light weight lambs were much dearer, while the heavier selection was generally firm on last week’s rates.
Light weight lambs ranged from $84-$93 to the trade, with light weight trade 2 and 3 score lambs selling to $98. These lambs were $10-$12 dearer. The trade weight 3 score lambs ranged from $100-$121 to be firm at an average of 500c/kg cwt. Restockers operated in all the above weight ranges, as they competed strongly and paid $80-$109 for lambs to turn out. The few heavy 4 score lambs ranged from $118-$140, again at an average of 500c/kg cwt, while the few pens of extra heavy 4 and 5 score types ranged from $147-$165.
Only a few pens of sheep came forward, with light weight 1 and 2 scores mainly selling from $45-$66, with medium weight 2 and 3 score ewes ranging from $79-$107 to average 350c/kg cwt. Heavy 4 score ewes sold from $100-$116 to be up to $12 dearer, while the few rams offered ranged from $25-$32.
Katanning prices ease on quality
In WA at the Katanning saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 7887 lambs, 1887 more than last week, and 10,500 sheep, 3440 more.
The NLRS said dry conditions and water shortages drove supply higher. Large supplies of ewe mutton and lambs were available, but only limited supplies of prime lambs and well-conditioned heavy ewes were offered.
Quality was mixed with the majority of drafts being lighter conditioned and most lambs dry and secondary in nature. Buyers from all sectors were active, with prices erratic and early sales cheaper but improving as the sale progressed.
Light store lambs to restockers made from $15-$65, with most $6 easier and quality a factor. Light lambs to air freight, live export and feed made from $57-$90, back $3-$6. Trade lamb sold from $75-$123, with prices erratic at times and generally $2-$5 cheaper, as the limited number of prime lambs averaged close to 500c/kg cwt, although most were around 470c/kg cwt. Heavy lambs sold from $90-$129.50/head and were close to firm. The limited number of prime lambs averaged close to 500c/kg cwt, but most were around 480c/kg cwt.
Ewe prices were very erratic and mostly easier by $3-$5. Very light and plain ewes made $36-$63, with 2 score mutton $50-$76 and $6 cheaper at close to 290c/kg cwt. The 3 and 4 score ewes, including heavy weight drafts, sold from $65-$90.50 and were mostly $4 easier at close to 280c/kg cwt. Restockers paid $25-$62 for light ewes, with better drafts to $73. Wether prices firmed as live export demand increased. Heavy wethers made $75-$101, mostly to processors, with lighter and store drafts making $47-$75 and mostly $3-$5 dearer. Rams sold to mixed demand, with young rams topping at $100to restockers. Young drafts to export, processors and feed made from $30-$70, with old rams to processors making $10-$50.
Sources: MLA, NLRS.