Markets

Quality trade and heavy lamb prices lift as season wanes

Sheep Central, December 2, 2015
These April-May drop White Suffolk cross lambs, 18kg cwt, at Telangatuk East in Victoria, sold for $101 on AuctionsPlus yesterday.

These April-May drop White Suffolk cross lambs, 18kg cwt, at Telangatuk East in Victoria, sold for $101 on AuctionsPlus yesterday.

QUALITY trade and heavy lamb prices lifted in most saleyards mid-week as fewer woolly new season drafts with finish are yarded.

Dubbo’s new season heavy lamb prices lifted $10-$12 on Monday, with 22.1-26kg cwt lambs with $8-$11 skins making $142-$160, or 539-596c/kg, and heavy old lambs selling to $177.50.

Forbes 22.1-26kg new season drafts with $8-$10 skins also improved by up to $2, making $135-$143, or 512-563c/kg.

At Bendigo on Monday, demand was strongest for well-finished trade and heavy lambs, with 22kg-plus lambs with $6-$10 skins lifting $6-$10 to make $112-$148, or 432-546c/kg. Hamilton’s better finished 22.1-26kg lambs with $10-$13 skins were also dearer at $119-$156, and extra heavy 26.1-30kg lines with $12-$14 skins made $147-$175, or 496-559c/kg.

In South Australia at the Dublin saleyards, heavy weight new season lambs with $7-$9 skins gained $13 to $150-$163, or 530-550c/kg.

Over-the-hook lamb rates rise in Victoria

The National Livestock Reporting Service quoted New South Wale’s over-the-hook lamb rates across all weight categories this week as unchanged. Medium and heavy weight mutton rates lifted.

NSW’s OTH rates for 2-4 score lambs are: 18-20kg, 460-540c/kg, no change; 20-24kg, 520-540c/kg, nc; 24-26kg, 490-540c/kg, nc; Merinos 16-22kg, 420-500c/kg, nc. The mutton rates are: 14-18kg, 240-340c/kg, nc; 18-24kg, 290-340c/kg, up 5 cents; 24kg+, 280-330c/kg, up 5c.

The NLRS said most lamb over-the-hook indicators increased in Victoria week-on-week, with heavy weight categories lifting up to 13c/kg cwt dearer. Medium and heavy weight mutton categories eased slightly.

Victoria’s OTH rates for 2-4 score lambs are: 16-18kg, 480-520c/kg, up 7c; 18-22kg, 480-530c/kg, up 5c; 22-24kg, 500-530c/kg, up 13c; 24-26kg, 490-520c/kg, up 10c; 26kg+, 490c/kg, nc; Merinos 16-22kg, 450c/kg, up 20c. The mutton rates are: 14-18kg, 290-310c/kg, nc; 18-24kg, 240-330c/kg, down 3c; 24kg+, 240c/kg, down 3c.

South Australia’s over-the-hook lamb indicators were unchanged week-on-week, with trade weights averaging 510c/kg cwt. Mutton indicators were also steady, with medium weights averaging 275c/kg cwt.

SA’s OTH rates for 2-4 scores lambs are: 16-18kg, 500c/kg, nc; 18-24kg, 500-530c/kg, nc; 24-26kg, 490-500c/kg, nc; Merinos 470c/kg, nc. The mutton rates are: 14-18kg, 240-330c/kg, nc; 18-24kg, 240-320c/kg, nc; 24kg+, 220-300c/kg, nc.

Tasmania’s OTH rates for trade and heavy lambs increased by 40c/kg this week, while mutton rates moved down by 5-20 c/kg. The 2-4 score OTH lamb rates are: 0-16kg, 465-480c/kg, up 5c; 16-18kg, 480-500c/kg, up 20c; 18-26kg+, 510-520c/kg, up 40c. The mutton rates are: 0-14kg, 260-290c/kg, down 20c; 14-24kg, 280-290c/kg, down 15c; 24kg+, 290-290c/kg, down 5c.

Western Australia’s OTH rates were not available when this article was published.

NLRS lamb indicators stay positive

After Tuesday’s saleyards sales, the National Livestock Reporting Service’s Eastern States Daily Indicators for lamb were: restocker 553c/kg, up 2 cents; Merino 465c/kg, up 6c; light 512c/kg, up 4c; trade 521c/kg, up 1c; heavy 527c/kg, up 1c. The national trade lamb indicator closed up 2 cents to 521c/kg and the heavy indice finished at 527c/kg, up 1 cent.

The ESDI for mutton was unchanged at 327c/kg and the national indicator was firm on 326c/kg.

Dubbo’s heavy lambs lift $10-$12

In New South Wales at the Dubbo saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 13,290 lambs, 3099 more than last week, and 9680 sheep, 2439 more.

The NLRS said it was a very mixed yarding with some outstanding heavy weight lambs and only limited numbers of trade weights. Most of the regular buyers operated in a solid market.

Lightweight lambs sold at similar rates, with the restockers paying $50-$107. Light weight processing lambs sold from $55-$95. Trade weight lambs were $6-$10 dearer, with new season lambs selling from $92-$139, to average 554c/kg cwt. Trade weight old lambs sold from $86-$140.

Heavy weight lambs were $10-$12 dearer, with the over 22kg new season lambs making $142-$160 and heavy weight old lambs $138-$177.50. Merino lambs were $6 dearer, with the trade weights selling from $83-$120 and heavier weights making to $137. Hoggets sold to $110.

It was a plainer quality yarding of mutton. The plainer conditioned sheep were $4 cheaper, while most other grades were $4-$6 dearer. The 2 score ewes sold from $30-$76, while better 3 and 4 score Merinos made $70-$126 for Merinos and crossbreds sold to $105. Properly finished Merino wethers sold from $92-$110.

Forbes’ trade and heavy lambs lift $2-$3

At the Forbes saleyards yesterday, the agents yarded 13,563 lambs, 2742 more than last week, and 4870 sheep, 1698 fewer.

The NLRS said lamb quality continues to be mixed. There was an improved offering of heavy and extra heavy lambs and some plainer types. The usual buyers competed in a fairly steady market.

Trade weight new season lambs sold from $115-$132. Heavy lambs made $135-$143.

Light old lambs averaged $98. Trade weights were firm to $3 better, at $103-$134.  The better offering of heavy and extra heavy lambs were firm to $2 better. Heavy lambs sold from $130-$148. Extra heavy weights made $142-$178. Carcase prices mostly ranged from 545-569c/kg.

The sheep were mostly Merinos and quality varied. Prices remained steady, with Merino ewes selling from $74-$100. Crossbred ewes made $72-$105 and Dorper ewes $70-$98. A handy offering of Merino wethers sold from $72-$117.

Bendigo’s 22kg-plus lambs lift $6-$10

In Victoria at the Bendigo saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 15,876 lambs, 3501 fewer than last week, and 8545 sheep, 2079 less.

The NLRS said the focus shifted to shorn lambs for the first time this season. Most agents led their sales with shorn lambs as the quality of young lamb drafts continued to deteriorate.

There was little price movement on export lambs. However, the market showed a stronger trend, particularly for well-finished shorn lambs weighing over 22kg cwt which were $6-$10 dearer. Bidding was more selective on young longer wool lambs, although most trade weight categories averaged $2-$5 dearer. The market reached a top of $150 for a small pen lot of heavy export lambs.

Demand was strongest for the best presented trade and heavy trade lambs. Most of the lead pens of lambs in the 24-26kg cwt range sold from $132-$145, and the 22-24kg types from $120-$130. The general run of domestic lambs sold from $105-$108. The best quality shorn lambs recorded averages of 520-545c/kg cwt, which was ahead of the longer wool lamb averages of 500-530c/kg cwt for the better types. Part of the price difference was due to skin values, with most buyers only working on returns of a few dollars for recently shorn pelts.

Competition for store lambs was stronger, with orders from Horsham, Rainbow, Wycheproof, Echuca, Shepparton and the local area. Store buyers also showed a preference for shorn young lambs, which sold up to $9 dearer at $78-$98 for most. Longer wool young lambs returning to the paddock were similar; a few dollars dearer at $80-$100 for the better sized types.

Bidding for mutton varied around weight and quality. Pens of heavy crossbred ewes trended cheaper at $80-$95, with a restocker paying the top price of $99.20. The better drafts of trade weight mutton were similar-a few dollars dearer.

Hamilton’s best lambs $4-$8 dearer

At the Hamilton saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 25,563 lambs, 9467 fewer than last week.

The NLRS said mixed quality reduced yarding of young lambs greeted the usual buyers. Quality was not quite as good in the very good line up of excellent heavy and heavy trade lambs, with a higher percentage of lambs showing dryness. Demand was very strong at times for the better quality finished lambs, although prices fluctuated to be $5-$8 dearer on the heavy lambs, then slightly cheaper, ending up $4-$5 dearer. Light and medium trade lambs with less condition were unchanged to $1-$4 cheaper. Less restocker buyers were present, but they came from Horsham, Albury, Deniliquin, Swan Hill and locally.

Light lambs were $3-$8 cheaper early, but gained ground to be equal as store buyers showed more urgency to obtain numbers towards the end of the sale. Restockers paid $61-$74 for light lambs and $72-$107 on the 2 score store 13-20kg cwt lambs. Very light 1 score lambs sold from $60-$85 and the 2 score lambs made $72-$91. The light trade 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $89-$118 and medium trade 3 scores made $100-$135. The trade lambs ranged from 430-570c/kg, to average 505c/kg cwt. Heavier 4 score lambs sold from $119-$156 at 470-560c/kg, to average close to 520c/kg. Export heavy lambs sold from $147-$175. Some good quality Merino hoggets sold to processors for $89.50-$102.50 and the best of the crossbred hoggets made $95-$112.

Ballarat best trade and heavy lambs a few dollars dearer

At the Ballarat saleyards yesterday, the agents yarded 38,901 lambs, 3008 fewer than last week, and 14,599 sheep, 282 more.

The NLRS said lamb quality was again average to good, but more lighter and fewer heavy lambs were yarded. The usual buyers operated keenly in a mostly firm market, with select lots in the trade weight and heavy lambs selling up to a few dollars dearer.

Heavy lambs sold $166, with five pens making $160 or more. Restockers and feeders were again very active and paid mostly from $82-$115 for full wool young lambs and from $80-$120 for shorn young lambs. The trade paid from $97-$128 for shorn lambs.

Light 2 score lambs sold from $69-$87. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $85-$117.50 to average around 510c/kg cwt. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs made $110-$130 and the heavier drafts $125-$142, to range from 490-550c/kg and average around 520c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $136-$166 to average around 520c/kg.

The sheep offering included some good runs of Merino wethers, heavy crossbred sheep and a mix of lighter sheep. The usual buyers competed in a mostly firm market. Some of the lighter crossbred sheep sold a little easier and the medium and heavy sheep were up to a few dollars dearer. Medium wethers sold mostly firm, with the heavy wethers easier in places.

A southern restocking order paid from $74-$98 for well-presented shorn crossbred ewes. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $38-$79. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep made $53-$96, or 270-380c/kg cwt. Merino mutton averaged around 335c/kg. Heavy 3-5 score sheep sold from $73-$110. Heavy Merino wethers sold to $110 and the medium weights made $62-$88, to average around 325c/kg.

Dublin’s heavy lambs lift $13

At the South Australian Livestock Exchange yesterday, the agents yarded 5302 lambs, 92 fewer than last week, and 2276 sheep, 1276 less.

The NLRS said the generally poor quality yarding of crossbred and Merino lambs sold to stronger trade and processor competition from the usual buyers. Feeder and restocker buyers were prominent on the large selection of light weight lambs and prices eased marginally as numbers exceeded demand.

Ultra-light weight crossbreds sold feeder buyers defied the easing trend, lifting $8 to $44-$89. Light weights eased $7 to $77-$99 and trade weights sold to feed on made to $98. Light weight 3 score crossbreds sold to trade buyers lifted $4, to $100-$113, averaging 516c/kg. Light trade weight 4 scores lifted $2 to $110-$125, to average 518c/kg. Heavy trade weights lifted $4 to $118-$133 to average 523c/kg. Heavy weights lifted $13 to $150-$163.

Light weight Merino lambs were plentiful. Restockers paid $54-$86 for lambs to feed on and trade weights sold to processors lifted $10 to $95-$114, averaging 485c/kg. A few heavy weights lifted $11 to $110-$118 to average 455c/kg.

The mixed quality sheep sold to fluctuating processor bidding. Restockers purchased crossbred ewes at $79, Merino ewes from $75-$88 and full wool Merino wether hoggets from $79-$87. Light weight 2 score ewes sold to processors lifted up to $13 to $62-$76, averaging 283c/kg cwt. Heavy weight ewes eased marginally to $75-$85, to average 272c/kg. Heavy weight wethers eased $12 to $82-$93, to average 291c/kg. Heavy weight rams sold from $40-$76.

Naracoorte’s best trade lambs $5-$10 dearer

At the Naracoorte saleyards yesterday, the agents yarded 3321 lambs, 3151 fewer than last week, and 2007 sheep, 121 less.

The NLRS said fewer trade, processor and restocker buyers were present and not all were fully active on a very mixed quality offering. There were very few lambs with any weight, with more shorn lambs offered. Prices fluctuated across the market.

Light lambs sold to the trade ranged from $68-$105 and light weight trade 2 and 3 score types sold to $102 to be $5-$10 dearer than last week. Restocking orders were strong and paid mainly $80-$111, up $5-$10. Trade weight 3 score lambs ranged from $112-$119 at an average of 490c/kg cwt, back $5. The few heavy 4 score lambs sold from $116-$135 to be $6-$8 cheaper.

Light weight ewes ranged from $30-$59 and medium weights made $59-$77, to be $3 dearer and average 300c/kg. Heavy ewes ranged from $76-$92, up to $6 dearer. Rams sold to $53.

Muchea’s lamb prices ease $3-$5

In Western Australia at the Muchea saleyards on yesterday, the agents yarded 3760 lambs, 62 fewer than last week, and 6200 sheep, 1500 more.

The NLRS said quality was mixed with only small supplies of prime lambs and moderate supplies of heavy weight ewe mutton. Competition eased, with less restocker competition on ewes and store lambs and a number of processors provided only limited activity. Live export competition on wethers was strong. Prices overall remained good, but back slightly on last week.

Light store lambs sold to restockers made $21-$70 and the Merino drafts sold from $21-$50, similar to last week. Light lambs sold to feeders and processors eased around $5, with most at $59-$88. Trade weight lambs made $82-$118 to be $3-$5 easier and heavy weight lambs sold to $122.

Ewe prices were back around $5 for the lighter conditioned and restocker drafts while the heavier weight ewes sold processors were close to firm. Light ewes made $10-$51 and the 2 score mutton bought by processors sold from $48-$59, to be $6 cheaper. Better conditioned and heavy weight ewes made $51-$76 to average firm on last week’s sale. Young Merino ewes, mostly hoggets, sold from $35-$89 to restockers and suitable older ewes made $30-$75.

Wether demand was stronger, with one solid export order. Heavy export wethers made $80-$111 and the medium weight drafts sold from $80-$102 to be slightly dearer. Store drafts sold to restockers made $50-$87.50 to remain firm on the last sale. Rams for live export made $70-$84 and feeders paid $20-$56. Ram lambs made to $100 and older rams sold to processors for $10-$40.

Northern Tasmania yardings boosted by light lambs

At the northern Tasmania saleyards yesterday, the agents yarded 2250 lambs, 1370 more than last week, and 1950 sheep, 650 more.

The NLRS said lamb numbers doubled at Killafaddy and Powranna, due to more light lambs suitable for restockers. Sheep numbers also increased as the season dries very quickly.

The NLRS said 75 percent of the lambs was bought by local and interstate restockers who paid $51-$59 for very small lambs, $62-$87 for light lambs and $84-$95 for light trade weights.

Exporters paid $72-$86 for light lambs suitable for the Middle East, while the trade paid $88-$97 for light trades, $91-$122 for trade weights, and $126-$138 for heavy weights. An odd extra heavy pen made $137-$139.

Sheep prices were generally $8-$10 cheaper, although some lines reached last week’s rates. Very light sheep made $14-$34, light weights $43-$55, medium weights $45-$72 and heavy ewes $69-$81.

Source: NLRS, MLA, AuctionsPlus.

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