QUALITY trade lamb prices lifted to a peak of 700c/kg cwt as domestic processor competition strengthened mid-week, with yardings lower across the country after recent rain.
The National Livestock Reporting Service quoted heavier trade lambs as selling from $133-$167 in Ballarat, and from 550c/kg cwt up to 700c/kg for some quality drafts, to average around 610-620c/kg cwt.
Forbes yarded it first trade weight new season lambs, with these selling from $136-$160.
The National Livestock Reporting Service reported improvements in its national and Eastern States Daily Indicators for all lamb categories and for mutton.
After the close of Tuesday’s saleyard sales, the ESDIs for lamb are: restocker 549c/kg, up 9 cents; Merino 545c/kg, up 19c; light 563c/kg, up 9c; trade 586c/kg, up 7c. The national trade lamb indicator closed 7 cents higher on 580c/kg and the heavy lamb indice is on 585c/kg, up 9 cents.
The mutton ESDI closed up 6 cents on 395c/kg and the national indice is on 389c/kg, up 3 cents.
NLRS over-the-hook rates firm to higher
In NSW, the NLRS said OTH lamb rates were largely unchanged this week, with many contributors taking a wait-and-see approach in the wake of the wet conditions. Mutton rates were firm. NLRS gave no quote “due to a regular contributor returning”.
In Victoria, the NLRS said most categories of OTH lamb rates edged higher, with trade weight lambs averaging 603c/kg cwt. Light and medium mutton rates eased 3c/kg cwt on average.
In SA, the NLRS said over-the-hook lamb rates moved higher across all categories this week, with trade weight lambs averaging 590c/kg cwt. Medium and heavy weight mutton rates increased 20c/kg cwt on average.
Tasmania’s OTH rates were unchanged and WA details were not available.
Dubbo trade lambs $5-$9 higher
In NSW at the Dubbo saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 19,420 lambs, 6080 fewer than last week, and 4360 sheep, 7140 less.
The NLRS said the mixed yarding had good numbers of heavy weight lambs and a fair selection of trade weights. There was also a good percentage of Merino lambs.
Light weight lambs sold firm with the 12-18kg 2 scores making from $68-$108. Trade lambs were $5-$9 dearer, with the 18-22kg 3 scores selling from $102-$142 to average 606c/kg cwt.
Heavy weight lambs were $5 dearer, with the over 22kg 4 scores selling from $132-$191. Merino lambs were $2-$4 dearer, with the trade weights selling from $103-$134. Restocker lambs sold to $118 and hoggets to $125.
The mixed yarding of mutton had some outstanding heavy weights and good numbers of lightweights. Most grades were $4-$7 dearer, with 2 score ewes selling from $46-$88. The better 3 and 4 score ewes sold from $79-$146 for Dohnes and to $132 for crossbreds. The 3 and 4 score Merino wethers sold from $91-$136.
Tamworth competition strong
At the Tamworth saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 3675 lambs, 1225 fewer than last week, and 1850 sheep, 400 less.
The NLRS said trade weight lambs were well-supplied and several pens of heavy lambs were offered. Quality overall was good with a large percentage of lambs off crop. Competition was strong with the market firm to slightly dearer, mainly for the heavier end of the lambs.
The yarding of mutton was made up mainly of medium and heavy sheep and a good representation of ewes and wethers. There were several pens in full wool. The market continued to be firm with all classes of mutton selling at strong prices.
Forbes offers first new season lambs
At the Forbes saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 30,650 lambs, 13,834 more than last week, and 5300 sheep, 2427 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was similar to previous sales, with good numbers of well-finished and grain-assisted lambs, along with plainer types. Heavy and extra heavy weight lambs were well supplied. The usual buyers competed strongly in a dearer market.
The first of the new season lambs were offered, with trade weights selling from $136-$160. Light older lambs lifted $5 to sell from $107-$116. Trade weights were $5-$8 better and up to $10 in places, at $117-$150. Heavy and extra heavy weight lambs lifted $6-$8, heavy weights sold from $142-$164 while extra heavies received from $151-$205. Carcase prices ranged from 564-620c/kg.
Light Merino and Dohne lambs sold from $107-$113. Trade and heavy weights received from $114-$163.
The sheep were mostly Merinos and quality continued to be mixed. There were some good lines of heavy sheep and some plainer light lines. Prices lifted $5 and more in places. Merino ewes sold from $91-$137. Crossbred ewes ranged from $85-$122. Dorper ewes sold from $92-$122. Merino wethers made $88-$135.
Inverell’s heavy lambs $7-$10 dearer
At the Inverell saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 3401 lambs, 859 more than last week, and 1400 sheep, 655 more than last week.
The NLRS said there were more heavy lamb and Dorper lambs. Quality was good with most of the lambs off crop.
The market was stronger with trade weights selling firm to $4 dearer, while heavy lambs were $7-$10 dearer. Restockers were also active in the market, helping to make lighter lambs dearer.
The yarding of mutton consisted of several pens of heavy and medium weight sheep in the sale with several lots in full wool. The market continued to be strong for all classes of mutton.
Bendigo lambs $3-$6 dearer
In Victoria at the Bendigo saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 10,186 lambs, 5843 fewer than last week, and 6008 sheep, 8 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was very mixed, with fewer heavy export lambs.
The market averaged $3-$6 dearer across most slaughter lambs, with demand strongest for well-finished trade weight lambs in short wool skins. Prices reached a top of $200 for a pen of export lambs estimated to weigh around 33kg cwt.
Light weight lambs sold to processors mostly from $84-$110. Prices for very small and plain score 1 and 2 lambs fluctuated, selling from $23-$68 to limited restocker demand. Plainer finished trade lambs, lacking cover and finish, generally sold from $115-$130. The better quality pens displaying more weight and finish, at 22-26kg cwt, benefited from domestic and export competition, selling from $138-$168 at around 600-620c/kg cwt, Select pens sold higher. About 10 pens of heavy export lambs sold from $170-$200.
Mutton prices were mostly $2-$6 dearer, despite not all the regular export buyers competing. Better covered and heavier sheep recorded the best gains. Heavy crossbred ewes sold from $112-$139 and heavy Merinos sold from $102-$126. A restocking order for Merino sheep nearing full wool paid up to $112. Heavy Merino wethers sold to a top of $125.60.
Ballarat trade lambs hit 700c/kg cwt
At the Ballarat saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 12,385 lambs, 3956 fewer than last week, and 2913 sheep, 2725 less.
The NLRS said quality was mixed. Better presented trade weight and heavy lambs were in limited supply. However, there were still opportunities to purchase runs of well-finished lambs.
Extra heavy lambs reached a market top of $203. The usual buyers operated strongly in a mostly dearer market.
Quality heavy lambs sold up to $5 better and the best trade weight and domestic lambs sold mostly $2-$5 and up to $10 dearer in places. Restockers and feeders were again active paying mostly from $100-$120 and from $70-$89 for lighter drafts. Light weight 1 and 2 score lambs sold from $74-$106. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $99-$127 to average around 610c/kg cwt. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $120-$146. The heavier trade lambs sold from $133-$167, and from 550c/kg cwt up to 700c/kg for some quality drafts, to average around 610-620c/kg cwt. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $145-$189, with extra heavy lambs selling from $187-$203. The best of the Merino lambs sold to $128.
The sheep offering was average in quality, but most sold to a dearer trend. Not all the usual buyers operated fully, but prices were $2-$5 dearer and more in places. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $55-$96 and very light 1 scores made $14-$53. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep sold from $69-$122.50, or 300-460c/kg cwt. Merinos averaged around 420c/kg and the crossbreds 380c/kg.
Heavy 3 to 5 score sheep sold from $95-$137, with heavy Merino wethers selling from $106-$125 to average around 430c/kg cwt. Rams of all weights sold from $26-$94.
Dublin’s heavy weight lambs lift $10
At the SA Livestock Exchange at Dublin, the agents yarded 8550 lambs, 2333 fewer than last year, and 1483 sheep, 580 less.
The NLRS said the very mixed quality yarding of crossbred and Merino lambs sold to generally stronger competition from a large group of local and interstate trade and processor buyers. Light weight and secondary quality crossbreds were in strong demand from processors and feeders and restockers were occasional participants on suitable light weight crossbreds and Merinos.
Light weight crossbred lambs to feeders sold up to $106, while light weight 3 score lambs to trade buyers lifted $2 to sell from $100-$118, averaging 531c/kg cwt. Light trade weight 4 scores lifted $4 to $127-$148, averaging 585c/kg. Heavy trade weights lifted $11 to $125-$160, averaging 584c/kg. Heavy weights lifted $10 to $140-$189, or 589-607c/kg. Some extreme heavy weight lambs sold from $196-$200.
Light weight Merino lambs sold to restockers for $49-$83. Prices for light weight 2 scores lifted $7 to processors, selling from $80-$110, or 492c/kg. Trade weight Merinos also lifted $7, selling from $115-$123 to average 502c/kg. Heavy weights sold from $140-$180 to average 537c/kg.
Another small yarding of generally poor condition sheep sold to stronger processor demand and restockers bought selected wethers for $87. Light weight 2 score ewes lifted a marginal $2, selling from $60-$88 to average 306c/kg. Heavy weight 3 score ewes lifted $6, to $82-$120, to average 334c/kg cwt. Heavy weight wethers lifted $3 to $86-$130, to average 369c/kg. Heavy weight rams sold from $100-$112.
Naracoorte trade lambs lift $10-$12
At the Naracoorte saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 1536 lambs, 995 fewer than last week, and 894 sheep, 32 less.
The NLRS said a smaller field of trade and processor buyers was active, but prices rose across all categories, with more weight available in most pens as quality improved. Restockers purchased a small number of lambs.
Light weight lambs ranged from $70-$105 and light weight trade 2 and 3 score lambs sold from mainly $109-$118, lifting $5-$7. Restockers paid from $53-$78. Trade weight 3 score lambs ranged from $124-$141 to improve $10-$12 at an average of 595c/kg cwt. Heavy 4 score lambs ranged from $140-$160, to be also $10 dearer. Extra heavy lambs ranged from $160-$190.
Hoggets sold to $120 and light weight Merino ewes sold mainly $55-$84. Medium weight 2 and 3 score ewes ranged from $89-$121, up to $8 higher and averaged 410c/kg. Heavy ewes mainly ranged from $118-$128 to be up $12. Rams mainly ranged from $70-$90.
Muchea yarding halves
In WA at the Muchea saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 3870 lambs, 5200 fewer than last week, and 2041 sheep, 1759 less.
The NLRS said numbers halved following the wet weekend to be the smallest yarding for more than a year. The lamb yarding included a solid number of unfinished Merino drafts. Quality was mixed with only moderate supplies of trade and heavy lambs and mostly older secondary lambs destined for the hogget market or live export.
All buyers were present, but there were limited orders across all categories, with some works shut for maintenance and live export orders lacking. Prices for all categories eased slightly with most lambs $2-$8 cheaper and ewe and wether drafts back by $2. Numbers made quotes difficult.
Light store lambs sold from $35-$65 to be either side of firm. Light lamb suitable for feeders and air freight markets sold from $65-$90 to be firm to $5 easier. Trade lambs sold from $85-$124, with the prime drafts averaging close to 510c/kg cwt, but most plainer and Merino drafts made 440-490c/kg. Heavy lambs sold from $118-$142. Ewes eased slightly, with light weight drafts from $35-$53 and 2 score processor mutton drafts from $50-$72 to be close to firm. Better conditioned and heavy weight ewes sold from $65-$90 and remained firm at close to 280c/kg cwt.
Moderate supplies of ewes were presented. Wether numbers were limited and competition was restricted. Export weight drafts made $70-$99 and lighter and store drafts sold from $55-$80, both back around $5. Young rams sold from $40-$75 to processors and feeders while old rams sold from $30-$55, with both slightly easier in price.
Sources, MLA, NLRS.
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