Rain-driven restockers push store lamb prices up $5-$10

Sheep Central, November 11, 2015
These July-August drop Poll Dorset cross lambs, 17.5kg cwt, sold for $104 at Tyrendarra, Victoria, on AuctionsPlus yesterday.

These July-August drop Poll Dorset cross lambs, 17.5kg cwt, sold for $104 at Tyrendarra, Victoria, on AuctionsPlus yesterday.

STRONG demand for light and restocking lambs continued in saleyards this week, boosted by rain in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

Enquiry for quality export lambs also lifted as the supplies available remain limited, while trade lamb rates mainly held firm.

Rain-inspired New South Wales and Gippsland restockers boosted Bendigo’s store lamb prices by $5-$10 and restocking lambs were also a few dollars dearer at Ballarat.

NLRS indicators generally firm to dearer

After Tuesday’s saleyard sales, the National Livestock Reporting Service’s Eastern States Daily Indicators were: restocker 532c/kg, up 6 cents; Merino 456c/kg, down 3c; light 496c/kg, up 8c; trade 510c/kg, down 1c; heavy 506c/kg, up 2c. The national trade lamb indicator fell 1 cent to 509c/kg and the heavy indice rose 2 cents to 507c/kg.

The ESDI for mutton lifted 3 cents to 334c/kg and the national mutton indicator also rose 3 cents, to 332c/kg.

NLRS over-the-hook indicators lift

In New South Wales, the NLRS said the lamb over-the-hook rates this week climbed as saleyard prices last week improved, with widespread rain assisting demand. Mutton rates were mostly firm across all weight ranges.

NSW’s 2-4 score OTH lamb rates are: 18-20kg, 460-540c/kg, up 17 cents; 20-24kg, 490-540c/kg, up 18c; 24-26kg+, 450-540c/kg, up 18c; Merinos 16-22kg, 390-470c/kg, no change. The sheep rates are: 14-18kg, 220-340c/kg, up 13c; 18-24kg, 290-340c/kg, up 7c; 24kg+, 240-320c/kg, up 7c.

In Victoria, the NLRS said over-the-hook lamb indicators lifted across most categories week-on-week, with trade weights averaging 485c/kg cwt. Merino lambs were unchanged. There were upward adjustments to all mutton over-the-hook indicators, with medium weights increasing an average of 10c/kg cwt.

Victoria’s 2-4 score OTH lamb rates are: 16-18kg, 480c/kg, up 7c; 18-24kg, 480-500c/kg, up 10-13c; 24-26kg+, 460-480c/kg, up 20c; Merinos 16-22kg, 430c/kg, nc. The sheep rates are: 13-18kg, 280-300c/kg, up 13c; 18-24kg, 280-340c/kg, up 10c; 24kg+, 250-280c/kg, up 40c.

In South Australia, the NLRS said trade and heavy weight lamb over-the-hook indicators lifted an average of 7c/kg cwt week-on-week, while light weight lambs and Merinos were unchanged. Mutton indicators were dearer across all categories.

SA’s 2-4 score OTH lamb rates are: 16-18kg, 480c/kg, nc; 18-24kg, 480-500c/kg, up 7c; 24-26kg, 460-480c/kg, up 7c; Merinos 16-22kg, 450c/kg, nc. The 2-4 score sheep rates are: 14-18kg, 240-330c/kg, up 6c; 18-24kg, 260-320c/kg, up 8c; 24kg+, 220-300c/kg, up 13c.

The NLRS quoted Tasmania’s OTH rates for lambs and sheep as unchanged this week. The 2-4 score lamb rates are: 0-18kg, 460-480c/kg; 18-26kg, 470-480c/kg; 26kg+, 480c/kg. The sheep rates are: 0-18kg, 290-300c/kg; 18-24kg, 300c/kg; 24kg+, 280-300c/kg.

Western Australia’s OTH rates for lamb and mutton this week were unavailable when this article was published.

Dubbo’s extra heavy weight lambs lift $12

In New South Wales at the Dubbo saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 11,470 lambs, 1955 fewer than last week, and 9130 sheep, 3445 more.

The NLRS said it was only a fair quality yarding with a limited selection of properly finished trade and heavy weight lambs. A fair percentage of the yarding was tail-end lambs and hoggets.

Light weight lambs were firm at $108-$138, or 566c/kg cwt. The 22-26kg cwt lambs were firm, while the extra heavy weights were $12 dearer. Over 22kg lambs sold from $126-$184.

Merino lambs were $1-$3 cheaper, with the trade weights selling from $92-$124. Restockers paid to $112 and hoggets sold to $100.

Most grade of sheep were $8-$14 cheaper in a mainly good quality yarding. The 2 score ewes sold from $35-$62. The better 3 and 4 score Merinos sold from $61-$116 and crossbred made to $115. The 3 and 4 score Merino wethers sold from $63-$118.

Tamworth’s heavy lambs up $5

At the Tamworth saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 2650 lambs, 1100 more than last week, and 1100 sheep, 450 more.

The NLRS said the quality of the lambs was quite mixed, with good supplies of well-finished trade and heavy crossbred lambs and a fair supply of Merino lambs, showing varying degrees of finish. All the usual buyers attended.

Market trends were generally dearer through the lamb classes, with all buyers competing strongly to secure requirements. Trade weight lambs were least affected, showing only a small improvement while there was some quality and weight related price change. The good quality heavy lambs in both the young and old sections improved by around $5. Restockers were active on suitable light weights at dearer prices.

There was increased demand for light weight sheep. Light sheep sold to a dearer trend, while medium and heavy weights changed little.

Forbes’ heavy lambs lift $5-$10

At the Forbes saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 13,370 lambs, 1321 more than last week, and 10,350 sheep, 3027 more.

The NLRS said lamb quality was very mixed, with a large percentage of plainer lambs. A better run of heavy and extra heavy shorn lambs was offered. The usual buyers competed in a firm to dearer market.

New season lambs-restockers sold from $80-$116. Light lambs were $3 better at $100-$109. Trade weights held firm at $110-$133. Heavy and extra heavy weights were $5-$10 better on an improved offering. Heavy lambs sold from $129-$149, with extra heavies receiving from $146-$166. Carcase prices ranged from 532-567c/kg cwt.

Old light lambs averaged $102. Trade weights sold from $108-$132. Heavy and extra heavy weights lifted $6-$10. Heavy weights sold from $126-$152 and extra heavies from $135-$170.

The sheep were mostly Merinos and quality was very mixed. Prices lost some of last week’s jump, with Merino ewes selling from $72-$113. Crossbred ewes ranged from $71-$108. Merino wethers sold from $70-$94.

Bendigo’s best slaughter lambs lift $5-$10

In Victoria at the Bendigo saleyards, the agents yarded 21,906 lambs, 8831 more than last week, and 13,645 sheep, 5619 more.

The NLRS said the lamb yarding was boosted by several large store drafts from the north-east areas of Yea and Mansfield.

The market was stronger, with the best quality trade and export slaughter lambs averaging $5-$10 dearer. Shorn and unshorn store lambs showed similar gains of $5-$10, with new restocking orders from Lake Cargelligo and Corowa in NSW and Sale in Gippsland following recent rain. There was also strong demand from Swan Hill for well-bred lines of store lambs.

The market reached a top of $151 for export young lambs estimated at around 28kg cwt. The sale featured some big one-mark lines of store lambs and restockers paid a premium for well-bred runs of 100-400 head. The best pens of recently shorn store lambs, 16-20kg cwt, made from $90-$108. Most pens of unshorn young lambs returning to the paddock sold from $75-$90 and trended over 500c/kg cwt.

The supply of heavy young lambs remains limited and a handful of pens weighing an estimated 25kg-28kg cwt sold from $138-$146, with just the one sale at $151. The lead drafts of trade weight lambs sold from $120-$135. The general run of domestic slaughter lambs, 20-22kg cwt, with most showing some signs of dryness, made from $105-$116. On a carcase basis, select pens of lambs made up to 520c/kg, but with plainer lambs included the general range was 470c-495c/kg.

There was a good offering of heavy sheep. Demand from processors was robust and prices were dearer, with some of the heavy ewes gaining up to $14. Adding support to bidding for first-cross ewes was a restocking order that paid to $95. Extra heavy first-cross ewes sold to slaughter made $90-$108, while Merino ewes in a big skin topped at $100. Recently shorn wethers sold to $95. The general run of trade ewes sold from $70-$85. On a carcase basis, good quality mutton cost processors an estimated 300-340c/kg cwt.

Ballarat’s restocker lambs a few dollars dearer

At the Ballarat saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 46,519 lambs, 4978 more than last week, and 10,706 sheep, 1058 more.

The NLRS said lamb supply jumped as the selling season gained momentum a couple of weeks early. Quality was again good, with some lambs showing dryness in the skins.

All weights and grades were offered, with the market reaching a top of $156 and seven pens selling over $150. All the usual buyers operated keenly with lambs mostly selling from a little easier to close to last week’s levels. Restockers and feeders were very active, and along with processors, paid mostly from $70-$115 and from $47-$65 for lighter lots. Restocker and feeder lambs were generally a few dollars per head dearer.

Light weight 2 score lambs sold from $64-$84. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $81.60-$118 and averaged around 480c/kg cwt. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $100-$125 with the heavier lots making $114-$138, or 440-540c/kg, to average around 490c/kg cwt. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $130-$156 and averaged close to 500c/kg.

A few pens of shorn young lambs sold mostly to restockers at $74-$109. A pen of donated lambs sold on behalf of the Maddern trust for $350, supported by several export companies.

The sheep penning included all weights and grades, with many pens of heavy crossbreds. Most of the regular buyers operated keenly and sheep generally sold to strong demand to be a few dollars dearer, especially the crossbred sheep. Odd pens of Merino sheep were a little easier in places. Southern restockers paid from $62-$98 for crossbred ewes and to $83 for Merino ewes.

Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $42-$64. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep made $52-$95, or from 230-380c/kg. Merino mutton made 330c-340c/kg cwt. Heavy 3-5 score sheep sold from $70-$104, with heavy Merino wethers selling from $76-$100 and the medium weights making from $61-$85, at around 320c-330c/kg cwt.

Dublin’s feeder buyers lift prices $5

At the South Australian Livestock Exchange at Dublin on Tuesday, the agents yarded 5837 lambs, 1158 fewer than last week, and 2409 sheep, 450 more.

The NLRS said crossbred and Merino lambs sold to stronger trade and processor bidding from the usual local and interstate buyers. Most of the yarding was in store condition, but feeder and restocker buyers were keen to secure numbers to feed on.

Ultra-light 2 score crossbred lambs were in abundance and, despite the numbers, feeder interest pushed prices up to $5 dearer, they sold from $44-$76. Light weight 2 scores lifted $6 to $48-$100, and 3 score crossbreds sold feeders made $95-$105, with shorn lambs at the dearer end. Light 3 score lambs sold to processors eased a marginal $2 to $95-$100, averaging 478c/kg cwt. Light trade weight 4 scores lifted $2 to $110-$115 to average 486c/kg. Heavy trade weights lifted by up to $13 to $110-$125, averaging 485c/kg. Heavy weights lifted $12 to $125-$135, averaging 484c/kg cwt. Ultra-light weight Merino lambs sold to restockers lifted $4 to $40-$59 and light weights sold to processors lifted $5 to $75-$90. Trade weight 3 scores were scarce and lifted up to $14 to $94-$102, or 430-452c/kg. The small number of heavy weights sold to $116.

The mixed quality yarding of sheep sold to stronger processor competition. Interstate operators added some impetus to bidding and occasional restocker interest on crossbred ewes was evident. Light weight 2 score ewes lifted $2-$13 to $60-$86, to average 280c/kg. Heavy weight 3 score ewes lifted $13 to $68-$93, to average 289c/kg. Heavy weight wethers were scarce and lifted $15 to $75-$97, to average 284c/kg. Heavy weight rams were plentiful and sold from $40-$55.

Naracoorte’s lambs firm to cheaper

At the Naracoorte saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 12,332 lambs, 8153 fewer than last week, and 1225 sheep, 561 less.

The NLRS said fewer trade and processor buyers and restockers bid a on a similar quality penning to last week. There was excellent quality in the heavier new season lambs, while more store lambs showing signs of the dry season came forward.

Lamb prices were marginally cheaper to firm, with a strong sheep market lifting in rates. Light lambs to the trade ranged from $80-$102, while light trade 2 and 3 score lambs ranged from $96 to $107 to be firm. Restockers operated in the above categories from $50-$102, paying about $2 less than last week. Trade weight 3 score lambs ranged from $101-$123, up to $2 easier at an average of 500c/kg cwt. Heavy 4 score lambs were firm at $118-$136 and extra heavy export weighted lambs ranged from $130-$152.

Hoggets sold to $96 and light weight ewes made to $56. Medium weight 2 and 3 score ewes mainly ranged from $70-$87, to average 320c/kg cwt, up $8-$10. Heavy ewes ranged from $70-$96, up $6-$8. Rams sold to $75.

Muchea numbers contract

In Western Australia at the Muchea saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 1774 lambs, 2526 fewer than last week, and 4200 sheep, 5800 less.

The NLRS said with harvest underway, sheep and lamb numbers contracted by more than 60 percent. Prime trade and heavy weight lamb drafts were limited. Quality was mixed with many of the drafts small tail-end lots. All buyers were present with slightly more competition from domestic processors and restockers, but live exporters were not active.

Overall prices were firm to marginally dearer, with the better quality lambs up $3. Limited numbers of light young lambs sold for $35-$59 to restockers, with better drafts to feeders and processors making $60-$87. Trade weight drafts made $87-$112, to be $2 dearer. Heavy drafts reached a top of $115. Increased supplies of shorn lambs sold at dearer prices, with the light drafts sold to restockers making $50-$84 and trade drafts from $85-$108. Heavy weight lambs made $105-$116.

Ewe prices were supported by solid restocker interest and firmed by up to $3. Light ewes made $30-$48, with 2 score medium weight mutton firm at $42-$69. Better conditioned and heavy weight ewes sold from $45-$$76.50, with extra heavy crossbred drafts topping at $80. Restockers paid $30-$76.50 for suitable mature Merino drafts and younger ewe hoggets made $36-$55, both firm to marginally dearer. Wether competition was moderate, with most sales to restockers at similar prices. Heavy drafts made $85-$98 and the lighter and store drafts $45-$85. Older drafts made $56-$86.50, with some going to processors at slightly easier prices. Rams lacked competition. The best ram lambs sold to $90, with other young drafts making $45-$66 to export feeders. Old rams sold from $10-$20.

Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.


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