Prices for quality trade and heavy lambs general climbed further at saleyard sales mid-week after rain across most of eastern Australia.
Although rates for trade and heavy lambs were firm to easier at Victorian centres, competition was strongest for Wagga’s yarding of 33,000 lambs, where heavy trade weights lifted $7 to average $138.70 after 30-90mm of rain across the drawing region.
Prices were dearer for mutton in most saleyards, apart from Hamilton in Victoria and Katanning in WA.
Delta Ag livestock manager at Wagga Aaron Mackay said rain had a little bit to do with Wagga’s price lift, but he believed processors were simply securing supplies after the Easter break in sales.
“They are getting themselves set for next week really.”
Mr Mackay said some farmers would not hold lambs back after the rain, but had the confidence to start spraying weeds and sowing crops in the next few weeks.
“It was very timely rain.”
The lamb market has also been buoyed by exporters releasing forward contracts into winter, firstly by Thomas Foods International in SA and NSW, and more recently the Australia Lamb Company in Victoria.
The TFI forward contract price is 560c/kg for 18-34kg lambs delivered into Tamworth, NSW, in May, 570c/kg in June and 580c/kg in July, with a 50 percent upside relative to TFI’s grid of the day, with no downside.
At Murray Bridge and Lobethal, SA, the TFI price is 560c/kg in May and 570 in June, and Lobethal is 570c/kg in July, with the same upside/downside conditions. TFI’s Murray Bridge works will be closed for most of July.
The Australian Lamb Company’s spot price for 18-32kg lambs delivered to Colac is 560c/kg now, lifting to 570c/kg in June and July, and to 580c/kg in August. The forward contracts also have a 50pc upside clause if ALC weekly spot price is higher than the contract price.
NLRS indicators lift for lamb and mutton
After Thursday’s saleyard sales, the National Livestock Reporting Service quoted all Eastern States Daily Lamb and Mutton Indicators as higher.
The lamb ESDIs are: restocker 542c/kg, up 15 cents; Merino 489c/kg, up 26c; light 519c/kg, up 7c; trade 543c/kg, up 8c; heavy 547c/kg, up 8c. The national trade lamb indicator lifted 7 cents to 545c/kg and the heavy indice is up 9 cents to 549c/kg. The national and eastern mutton indicator closed on 367c/kg, up 14-15 cents.
Rain lifts Dublin rates
In NSW at Dublin’s Central Tableland Livestock Exchange, the agents yarded 6800 lambs, 800 more than last week, and 2800 sheep, 200 fewer.
The NLRS said there were some top heavy weight lambs and heavy trade weight lambs, along with lighter lambs to suit the restockers. All the regular buyers operated.
Lightweight lambs sold firm, with the 12-18kg cwt 2 scores making $60-$90. Restockers paid from $68-$122, following the excellent falls of rain. Trade lambs were firm to $4 dearer, with the 18-22kg 3 scores selling from $98-$130. Heavy weight lambs were $5-$7 dearer with the over 22kg 4 scores selling from $125-$171. Trade weight Merinos sold from $80-$103 and hoggets sold to $107.
The mixed quality yarding of mutton had some top heavy weight crossbreds and only limited numbers of Merino sheep. Lightweight ewes were up to $10 dearer and the rest were $3-$6 dearer. Lightweight ewes sold from $58-$72, while the 3 and 4 score medium and heavy weight crossbreds made $76-$120. The 3 and 4 score Merino wethers sold from $33-$116, with restockers paying $110 for longer wool wethers.
Cootamundra’s trade lambs $4-$5 dearer
At the Cootamundra saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 3000 lambs and 1654 sheep.
The NLRS said lamb numbers were back due to wide spread rain in the supply area. Quality varied in the light lambs, but improved in the heavy trades and heavy weights to make up the good quality offering. Not all the usual buyers attended, but an extra buyer operated in a dearer market than the previous sale two weeks ago.
Light restocking lambs sold from $56-$99. Trade lambs were $4-$5 dearer, with the medium and heavy trade weights from $95-$128 to average 545c/kg cwt. Heavy lambs weighing up to 26kgs cwt ranged from $122-$148 and extra heavy weights made $145-$156. Most ranged from 525-545c/kg cwt.
Sheep quality was mixed, but prices lifted $2-$3 over most weights and grades. Medium weight ewes sold from $70-$86 and heavy crossbreds reached $106. Merino wethers sold from $90-$100, with most ranging from 350-370c/kg cwt.
Wagga’s heavy trade lambs lift $7
At the Wagga Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 33,000 lambs, 2000 more than last week, and 10,000 sheep, 5000 more.
The NLRS said the quality of the yarding was very good, with more than 30 percent of the offering weighing above 26kg cwt. Trade lambs were in reasonable supply with good numbers of shorter skinned supplementary fed lambs.
The market strengthened over all categories with trade and export buyers eager to secure adequate supplies. Bidding intensified for well-finished trade lambs, aided by stronger demand from major domestic processors and select butcher orders.
The bulk of the light and medium trade lambs averaged 571c/kg cwt, reaching a top price of $136. Heavy trade lambs were keenly sought by all domestic processors and prices lifted $7, to average $138.70.
Light weight plainer conditioned lambs sold $5-$7 dearer to the processors. Well-bred secondary lambs to turnout averaged $110.40 and lambs for feedlots reached a top price of $118.
Heavy export lambs were well-supplied with plenty of lambs weighing more than 30kg cwt. Competition was very strong throughout the sale, contributing to the dearer trend of $6. Heavy lambs made from $139-$151, to average 566c/kg cwt. Most of the extra heavy lambs sold from $146-$190, or from 510-552c/kg.
Mutton quality was mixed, with a large percentage of the offering medium weight sheep. Light weight plainer conditioned ewes were keenly sought and sold from 350-394c/kg cwt. Merino ewes suitable for the trade were well-supplied and sold $4-$5 dearer, from $71-$115. There were reasonable numbers of heavy sheep and competition was stronger for the crossbred ewes, which sold $11 dearer. Heavy Merino wethers made from $105-$118, to average 429c/kg.
Hamilton’s light lambs up $4-$8, heavy weights $2-$5 down
In Victoria at the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 11,072 lambs, 843 more than last week, and 3855 sheep.
The NLRS said Hamilton’s first combined sale for lambs and sheep in 2015 had a very good selection of trade lambs, with many coming from feeder systems and summer crops. All the usual buyers operated.
The light and light trade lambs sold to a dearer trend, with agents from SA, Warrnambool and local areas competing strongly for store and unfinished lambs. Light lambs sold firm to $4-$8 dearer, medium trades were firm to $3 easier and the heavier lambs were back $2-$5 at times. Light lambs sold from $64-$112 and the 3 and 4 score medium trade weights made $110-$130, or 540-560c/kg cwt. The heavier 4 score lambs sold from $125-$153 to average around 530c/kg.
There was a plainer line up of sheep. Light 1 and 2 score sheep prices eased by up to $5, as they sold from 290-310c/kg cwt. Medium trade types 2 and 3 score sold to unchanged rates, making from 340-360c/kg. The heavier sheep were also unchanged, selling from 320-330c/kg cwt. Rams were stronger as the best made $64-$78.
Horsham lambs sell firm
At the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 9224 lambs, 4409 more than last week, and 1826 sheep, 141 fewer.
The NLRS said lamb quality improved, with a good selection of trade and heavy lambs. The usual buyers operated in a generally firm market compared to the last sale two weeks ago.
Quality extra heavy export lambs sold to a market top of $185. Restocking activity was limited, with lambs selling from $88-$118. Light weight 1 and 2 score lambs sold from $70-$94. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs made $80-$117. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $107-$121 with the heavier lots making $122-$143, or from 510-570c/kg cwt to average around 540c/kg.
Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $136-$165, to average around 540c/kg cwt. Extra heavy export lambs made $159-$185. Merino lambs sold from $72-$102, with heavier trade weights selling from $118-$122.
All weights and grades of sheep were represented and prices were up to $5 higher and more in places. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $42-$84. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep sold from $78-$98, or from 330-410c/kg cwt to average around 360c/kg. Heavy 3 to 5 score sheep sold from $85-$112. Heavy Merino wethers sold from $98.50-$109, with the medium weights making $88-$101 to average around 360c/kg.
Ouyen lambs firm to $8 dearer
At the Ouyen Livestock Exchange on Thursday, the agents yarded 8400 lambs and 800 sheep.
Following market trend lambs were quoted firm to $8 dearer. Crossbred export lambs sold from $124-$170 or 510-540c/kg cwt and trade lambs made $100-$139 or 520-540c/kg. Store and light lambs sold from $92-$107. Light Merino lambs sold from $48-$97 or 460-480c/kg and the heavy Merinos made $86-$117 or 480-500c/kg.
Mutton continued to sell well with prices quoted as firm to $5 dearer. Light sheep sold from $72-$104 or 300-340c/kg and heavy lines made $94-$120 or 320-340c/kg.
Mt Gambier’s trade lambs lift $5
In SA at the Mt Gambier saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 1124 lambs, 1016 fewer than last week, and 377 sheep, 74 more.
The NLRS said the usual buyers were present, but not all were active and prices fluctuated across the market. Light weight lambs ranged from $82-$100 and the light weight trade 2 and 3 score lambs made $98-$109, up $6-$8. Restocking lambs ranged from $90-$101. Trade weight 3 score lambs lifted by $5 to from $104-$122, or an average of 525c/kg cwt. The few heavy 4 score lambs fell back $3, to mainly range from $124-$141, with an isolated high of $160.
Light weight ewes sold to $45. Medium weight ewes made $66-$88, or an average of 310c/kg cwt. The heavier ewes sold from $86-$104.
Katanning lamb prices firm
In WA at the Katanning saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 4086 lambs, 1051 more than last week, and 10,827 sheep, 6657 more.
The NLRS said quality was plain, but competition was solid from a full field of buyers and prices were firm on last week’s very good rates.
Very light store lambs, mostly Merino drafts, made $20-$75. Merino wether lambs sold to restockers and live exporters for $35-$120. Merino ewe lambs sold from $47-$102. Trade lambs, 18-22kg cwt, were also firm, with most sales from $80-$118 or an average of 500c/kg cwt. The heavy lambs remained firm and sold to a top of $125.
Ewe prices were erratic, with the light ewes making $35-$78. The 2 score processor mutton made $60-$85 and the better 3 and 4 score mutton sold from $78-$101. Wether prices remained firm. Better export wethers sold from $85-$110 to remain firm, along with store drafts, which made $50-$85. Rams again sold to solid competition, with ram lambs reaching $90. Older rams sold to processors for $25-$81.
Source: MLA, NLRS