Rain pushes lamb prices over 600c/kg in New South Wales

Sheep Central, January 29, 2016
Ouyen district lamb producer Rob Bennett sold 84 White Suffolk cross lambs for $173 on Thursday.

Ouyen district lamb producer Rob Bennett sold 84 White Suffolk cross lambs for $173 on Thursday.

PRICES for quality trade lambs climbed over 600c/kg in New South Wales mid-week as rain cut yardings, putting pressure on processors competing for fewer finished new season lines.

Most saleyards also presented better quality yardings to the trade, including good runs of trade and heavy lambs.

In Victoria, this lift in quality combined with bigger yardings, allowing buyers to be selective, though restockers drove light lamb prices higher.

At Carcoar on Wednesday, 12.1-18kg new season lambs with skins worth up to $10 sold to $116 or 606c/kg, the 18.1-22kg trade weights with $6-$11 skins made $114-$141 or 477-624c/kg and heavier 22.1-26kg lambs with $10-$11 skins sold for $137-$155, or 538-609c/kg.

At Wagga on Thursday, the National Livestock Reporting Service quoted better medium and heavy trade lambs as $12-$15 dearer. The 18.1-22kg new season trade lambs with $8-$12 skins made $103-$145.20, or 485-633c/kg.

Light slaughter lambs with $2 skins also sold to $105 or 647c/kg at Mt Gambier on Wednesday.

In Victoria, demand fluctuated and rates lifted overall, but not as dramatically as in the other states. Light new season slaughter lambs in Victoria mid-week, ranged from $59-$106, or 386-580c/kg, for lines with skins valued at $1-$8.

Light new season trade lambs in Victoria with $1-$8 skins made $95-$126, or 484-564c/kg. The 22.1-26kg new season lambs with $6-$10 skins sold for $124-$142, or 485-528c/kg.

NLRS indicators move up for lambs and sheep

The NLRS quoted all Eastern States Daily Indicators for lamb and mutton as higher mid-week. After Thursday’s saleyard sales, the ESDIs for lamb were: restocker 556c/kg, up 22 cents; Merino 469c/kg, up 9c; light 507c/kg, up 7c; trade 549c/kg, up 14c; heavy 554c/kg, up 9c. The national trade lamb indicator closed up 17 cents to 552c/kg and the heavy indice finished on 556c/kg, up 9 cents.

The ESDI for mutton lifted 13 cents to 290c/kg, and the national indicator also closed on 290c/kg, a rise of 15 cents.

Carcoar trade lambs $8-$12 dearer

In New South Wales at the Central Table land Livestock Exchange at Carcoar on Wednesday, the agents yarded 6250 lambs, 2100 fewer than last week, and 3300 sheep, 2800 less.

The NLRS said it was a very good quality yarding with some good runs of trade and heavy weight lambs, and a smaller percentage of plainer lambs. The market was strong.

Light weight lambs sold $3-$5 dearer to processors, with the 12-18kg 2 scores making $55-$104. Trade lambs were $8-$12 dearer, with the 18-23kg 3 score new season lambs selling from $114-$151, to average 586c/kg cwt. Trade weight old lambs sold from $96-$136. The better heavy weight lambs were $8-$13 dearer, with the over 22kg old lines making $122-$173, or 555-590c/kg. Heavy weight new season lambs sold to $155. Restocker lambs were also dearer, selling to $107. Hoggets sold to $118.

Most of the mixed sheep yarding were crossbred ewes. Most grades were $15 dearer and more in places. The 2 score ewes sold from $31-$64. The better 3 and 4 scores crossbred ewes made $64-$92 and Merinos sold to $86.

Wagga’s trade lambs lift $12-1$15

At the Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 23,000 lambs, 7000 fewer than last week, and 8700 sheep, 1300 less.

The NLRS said lamb numbers contracted sharply due to significant rain across the supply area. The usual export and domestic buyers attended, but not all major domestic processors operated fully.

It was a typical summer yarding, with plenty of grain fed lambs over 24kg carcase weight. Light and medium trade weight lambs were limited in each agents run and quality was outstanding. Lighter weight lambs suitable to restock or feed-on were in shorter supply. New season trade lambs were in short supply and sold to stronger prices trends over all categories.

Well-finished medium and heavy trade lambs sold $12-$15 dearer. The better finished lambs made $105-$148, or mostly 549-588c/kg cwt. Shorn heavy trade lambs sold to much stronger competition due to the limited supplies, with prices lifting as the sale progressed. The best shorn lambs hit 607c/kg and averaged 577c/kg. Most shorn trade lambs sold $4-$6 dearer, making from $133-$155.60.

Light lambs were in short supply, contributing to dearer trends. Light lambs sold to slaughter for $65-$104. Heavy and extra heavy lambs were well-supplied and all buyers were eager to capture a market share. Heavy lambs lifted $7 selling from $146-$174. There was plenty of weight in the extra heavy offering again this week, with numerous pens exceeding 30kg cwt. Prices continued to build as the market progressed, hitting a top price of $199. Extra heavy lambs regularly made from $180-$198.

Rain across NSW ignited bidding in the mutton market, with prices jumping on average $12-$15. Heavy ewes made from $80-$110, averaging 296-331c/kg cwt. Light and medium grades sold at $33-$95, with medium weights averaging 312c/kg cwt.

Hamilton’s light lambs jump $5-$15

In Victoria at the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 11,964 lambs, 1004 more than last week.

The NLRS said lamb quality improved to be average to very good, with a better selection of some heavier more finished classes and fewer light weight lines. One agent had almost half the yarding, with good to very good drafts of shorn medium trade and heavy trade 3 and 4 score lambs. Buyers showed less urgency compared to last week, with some only operating at times.

Most prices maintained last week’s sale in a fluctuating market with medium and heavy shorn lambs fluctuate from unchanged to $2-$4 dearer. Unshorn medium weight lambs sold $3-$7 lower and the heavy trade weights were up to $10-$15 cheaper.

Restockers from South Australia found it difficult to obtain numbers, paying $45-$72 for very light stores and $87-$106 for the 2 and 3 scores. Light lambs lifted $5-$10 and up to $15 in places, with costs averaging between 560c-570c/kg cwt. Light weight unshorn 2 score lambs sold from $80-$91.

Light trade weights made $88-$106 and the 3 score medium trade unshorn lambs sold from $103-$114. The heavier 3 and 4 score trade weights made $119-$128, averaging 525c/kg cwt. The extra heavy unshorn lambs sold from $132-$146, to average close to 485c/kg. Shorn light trade weight 2 and 3 scores made $75-$106 and medium trade 3 score lambs sold from $100-$129. The heavy trade weight 3 and 4 score shorn lambs sold from $127-$146, or 520-583c/kg, but mostly 555-560c/kg. The extra heavy 4 scores made $146-$151 at an estimated 540c/kg.

Horsham lambs sell to $174

At the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 9492 lambs, 3736 more than last week, and 674 sheep, 1365 fewer.

The NLRS said most of the regular buyers operated in a generally firm market, with better heavy lambs a few dollars dearer. Lighter processing lambs sold to keen demand and the trade weighted lambs eased a few dollars in places. Quality over the lamb offering was generally very good with fewer lambs showing dryness and lacking finish.

Heavy lambs reached a market top of $174. Restockers paid to $100.50 for crossbred lambs and $83-$93 for Merino ewe lambs. Merino lambs sold to the trade for mostly $73-$124. Light weight 2 score lambs sold from $76-$80. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $79-$109.50 and averaged around 525c/kg cwt.

Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $107-$124 and heavier weights made $121-$138, or 510-570c/kg to average 530c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $136-$164 and extra heavy export lambs made $165-$174.

Sheep sold for similar prices, but not all buyers were able to operate fully in the small yarding. Merino wethers in a big skin sold to $102. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $44-$62. Medium weight 2 and 3 sore sheep made $60-$78, or 265-300c/kg, to average around 280c/kg. Heavy sheep sold from $65-$95 and heavy Merino wethers made $78-$102. Heavy Merino hoggets sold to $115.

Ouyen’s top lambs make $182

Ouyen lamb seller William Nihill watched his grandparents Graeme and Wendy Mengler sell 28 White Suffolk lambs for $127 on Thursday.

Ouyen lamb seller William Nihill watched his grandparents Graeme and Wendy Mengler sell 28 White Suffolk lambs for $127 on Thursday.

The Ouyen Livestock Exchange yarded 8127 lambs and 797 sheep on Thursday.

Well-presented quality lambs sold to $182 for a line of 52 from Jubuk producers D. and D. Jutschke.

Export5 weight crossbred sucker lambs sold for $145-$182, or 500-540c/kg, and trade lambs made $103-$144, or 550-580c/kg. Store lambs sold from $63-$94. Light Merino lambs made $85-$111.50 and heavy lines sold from $100-$142, or 490-520c/kg.

Light sheep sold from $60-$70 and heavy lines made $81-$98, 250-280c/kg.

Hamilton sheep lift $4-$8

At the Hamilton saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 12,319 lambs, 4086 more than last week.

The mixed quality penning included heavy weight 4 score crossbred and Merino ewes, but many more lighter 1 and 2 scores. Light mutton made up 55 percent of the total offering. About 1000 mixed quality Merino wethers were also yarded. The usual buyers operated with stronger demand, lifting the market by $4-$8 for heavy, medium and lighter trade weight sheep. There was very limited restocker interest.

Very light 1 score sheep sold from $22-$39 and light weight 2 scores made $35-$57, with the length in their Merino skins helping their prices. The medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep sold from $48-$78 and the better drafts of 3 scores made $64-$88, with costs ranging from 235-318c/kg to average an estimated 280c/kg cwt. Heavy export weight and heavier trade mutton, mostly crossbred ewes, sold from $74-$92, averaging around 260c/kg.

Medium weight Merino wethers, 2 and 3 scores, sold from $60-$83. The heavier 3 and 4 score drafts made from $86-$105 and averaged an estimated 315c/kg. Best quality hoggets sold from $80-$90 and the 2 and 3 score rams made $33-$58.

Mt Gambier prices improve

In South Australia at the Mt Gambier saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 1290 lambs, 927 fewer than last week, and 398 sheep, 406 less.

The NLRS said the same small field of buyers were active on the mixed quality penning. Prices improved across the board, with restockers also active. Light weight lambs sold to restockers for up to $56. Restockers also purchased light weight trade lambs up to $105. The trade sought light weight trade lambs from $98-$105. Trade weight 3 score lambs ranged from $114-$122 at slightly better rates then last week with an average of 520c/kg cwt. Heavy 4 score lambs lifted $8-$10 to $125-$138. A few extra heavy export weight lambs sold up to $149. Hoggets sold to $84, with lightweight ewes making 36. Heavier ewes ranged from $60-$84 and rams made to $42.

Rain limits Katanning yarding

In Western Australia at the Katanning saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 2659 lambs, 2341 fewer than last week, and 3304 sheep, 977 less.

The NLRS said with big rains throughout the district the pressure to sell has greatly diminished and only 6000 average quality sheep and lambs were penned. Despite the lighter yarding and lack of quality, values remained generally firm.

In the lamb market, heavy lambs made from $96-$110. The trade weights, 18-22kg, sold from $80-$103 and air freight types, 16-18kg, made $60-$85. All made close to 450c/kg cwt to remain firm. The light weight lambs sold to feeders and restockers for $15-$52 depending on quality.

Very few hoggets were penned and all were in store condition, selling to feeders for $36-$52. Young Merino wethers were well sought after by feeders and sold from $62-$91. Young Merino ewes were of very average quality and sold from $20-$57.

The mutton market eased on heavy ewes by $3-$4 in quality related price change. They sold from $55-$74 and returned approximately 235c/kg cwt. Trade weights and good ewes sold to slaughter were keenly sought, with added grazier demand keeping them firm at $45-$61. Restockers purchased light weight ewes from $25-$50.

The wether market remained firm, driven by live export. Heavy weight wethers sold from $70-$98 and the medium and light weights went to feeders at $40-$82. The ram market was also firm, with aged heavy rams going to processors at $5-$35. The younger rams suitable for live export sold from $39-$69, with added competition from feeders.

Warwick lamb market cheaper

In Queensland at the Warwick saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 990 lambs and hoggets, and 303 sheep.

The lamb market was cheaper for all descriptions, while sheep sold firm on previous sales. The market’s top lambs weighing 60.8kg lwt made $139 for Norma Chalk of Mt Colliery.

Crossbred lambs 46-55kg lwt sold from $122-$131, 42-45kg lambs made $112-$123, 36-42kg lines sold for $108-$117 and 35-40kg lambs made $198-$104.

Shorn crossbred hoggets, 61.2kg lwt sold to $86. Heavy crossbred ewes with $6 skins sold to $86, or 300c/kg cwt, and light ewes with $10 skins made to $55, or 285c/kg.

Sources: MLA, NLRS


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