RESTOCKER and light slaughter lamb prices lifted in eastern states saleyards early this week after the first forward prices for the season were released by Thomas Foods International last Friday.
Trade and heavy weight lamb rates fell for all but the better quality new season and old draft lines in eastern states saleyards.
Trade and heavy weight new season lambs continued to generally sell for 550-650c/kg cwt at most centres.
Buyers are able to be more selective on old lambs, plainer suckers and Merinos as the percentage of new season offerings in some NSW saleyards approaches 30 percent of lamb yardings. Mutton rates were firm to slightly cheaper, according to quality.
New season lambs sell up to 700c/kg at Forbes
Dubbo’s trade weight (18.1-22kg) new season lambs with $1-$10 skins sold from $108-$152, or 516-630c/kg cwt, on Monday, and the 22.1-24kg drafts with $10-$11 skins made $139-$155, or 561-626c/kg. The 12.1-18kg suckers with $8-$10 skins made $94-$118, or 524-606c/kg.
At Corowa on Monday, trade weight suckers with $10-$12 skins sold from $113.20-$148, or 558-648c/kg and the 22.1-26kg lines with $10-$12 skins made $147-$164, or 556-633c/kg. The 16.1-18kg new season lambs with $10 skins sold from $124-$125.20, or 633-640c/kg.
At Tamworth on Monday, trade weight suckers with $2-410 skins ranged from $118-$138, or 618-668c/kg, and 22.1-24kg lambs with $2 skins made $145 or 596c/kg.
Forbes agents offered 9000 new season lambs on Tuesday, 27 percent of the yarding, and trade weights with $8-$9 skins made $118-$157, or 579-662c/kg. The 22.1-26kg lines with $9-$10 skins sold from $152-$165, or 608-665c/kg. Lighter 12.1-18kg lambs with $1-$9 skins ranged from $83-$126, or 578-700c/kg.
At Bendigo on Monday, trade weight new season lambs with $2-$10 skins sold for $117-$154, or $117-$154, or 560-659c/kg, and the 22.1-24kg lines with $10 skins made $148-$158, or 596-644c/kg. The 12.1-18kg lines with $2-$6 skins made $67-$115, or 481-606c/kg.
In South Australia on Tuesday, Dublin’s trade weight suckers with $6-$7 skins made $105-$136, or 521-619c/kg, and 22.1-24 kg lines with $7-$9 skins sold for $137-$161, or 565-638c/kg. The 12.1-18kg lambs with $4-$7 skins ranged from $70-$155, or 464-671c/kg.
Naracoorte’s trade weight suckers on the same day, with $6 skins, ranged from $118-$126, or 546-590c/kg. Lighter 12.1-18kg lambs with6 skins made $89-$91, or 488-531c/kg, and some 22.1-24kg lambs with $6 skins sold for $106, or 435c/kg.
In Western Australia at Muchea on Tuesday, 20.1-22kg new season lambs with $2 skins made $111.50, or 521c/kg, and 12.1-16kg lambs with $2 skins sold for $70, or 453c/kg.
NLRS over-the-hook rates move higher
In NSW, the National Livestock Reporting Service said over-the-hook lamb rates were slightly higher across all weight ranges, from 530-600c/kg for crossbreds, as the market remains strong and supply solid. Mutton rates edged lower with medium and heavy weight mutton reaching 400c/kg cwt.
In Victoria, the NLRS said there were some slight downward adjustments to trade weight lamb over-the-hook indicators this week, to 580-620c/kg, and Merino lambs were back 10c/kg cwt on average to 520c/kg. Mutton over-the-hook indicators were unchanged at 320-370c/kg.
In South Australia, the NLRS said over-the-hook lamb indicators were steady at 570-620c/kg, with contributors reporting a firm market. The light weight mutton indicator declined slightly, while medium weight mutton increased to average 365c/kg cwt.
In Western Australia, the NLRS quoted over-the-hook lambs for 16-18kg lambs as up 5c/kg to 530-580c/kg, while heavier categories were firm at 560-600c/kg. Mutton rates lifted 12-30c/kg to 250-330c/kg.
In Tasmania, the NLRS reported over-the-hook lamb rates as up 15-30c/kg to 540-600c/kg, and sheep rates firm on 310-360c/kg.
NLRS restocker indicator jumps 16c/kg
After the close of Tuesday’s saleyard sales, the NLRS’ Eastern States Daily Indicators for restocker and light slaughter lambs showed the biggest increases.
The lamb ESDIs are: restocker 559c/kg, up 16 cents; Merino 529c/kg, down 11c; light 526c/kg, up 9c; trade 591c/kg, down 3c; heavy 597c/kg, down 4c. The national trade lamb indicator was quoted down 3 cents to 590c/kg and the heavy lamb indice lost 5 cents to finish on 596c/kg.
The ESDI for mutton is on 375c/kg, down 2 cents, and the national indice is 371c/kg, a 3-cent fall.
Dubbo trade lambs $3 dearer
In New South Wales at the Dubbo saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 41,150 lambs, 12,450 more than last week, and 7100 sheep, 1935 more.
The NLRS said it was a good quality yarding with a good number of heavy weight lambs, along with a reasonable selection of trade weight and new season lambs. Merino lambs were also well-supplied.
Light weight lambs were $5 dearer, with the 12-18kg cwt 2 scores selling from $52-$106. Trade lambs were $3 dearer, with the trade weight new season lambs making $107-$155. Trade weight old lambs sold from $98-$144 to average 608c/kg cwt. Heavy weight lambs were $5-$8 dearer, with the over 22kg 4 scores making $134-$202. Merino lambs were $2-$4 dearer, with the trade weights selling from $97-$137 and the heavier weights to $156. Restockers paid to $119 for lambs to fatten.
It was principally a good quality mutton yarding. Most grades were firm. The 2 score ewes sold from $40-$85, while the better 3 and 4 scores sold from $72-$120 for Merinos and to $118 for crossbreds. The well finished Merino wethers sold from $96-$129.
Corowa new season trade lambs down $4-$10
On Monday at the Corowa saleyards, the agents yarded 10,726 lambs, 1754 more than last week, and 3472 sheep, 114 more.
The NLRS said the quality of the 2800 new season lambs was good, although there were a few pens of lambs lacking finish which were passed in. Old lamb quality was plainer, with heavy lambs best supplied. Not all the usual buyers operated in a cheaper market.
Trade weight new season lambs were $4-$10 cheaper, at $113-$148 and heavier weighted lambs reached $164. Most averaged 590-610c/kg. Old trade lambs were $3-$7 cheaper, with the medium and heavy weights making $100-$141, or 570-580c/kg. Heavy lambs were $4-$6 cheaper on average, although some of the better lambs sold at fully firm rates. Prices ranged from $134-$173 or 580c/kg. Light Merino lambs were firm at $63-$84.
Mutton quality mixed. Most of the sheep sold $7-$9 cheaper. Medium weight ewes ranged from $68-$110. Heavy Merinos reached $130 and the best of the wethers made $135. Most averaged 350 to 410c/kg cwt.
Tamworth young lambs firm to dearer
On Monday at the Tamworth saleyards, the agents yarded 4000 lambs, 1500 more than last week, and 1600 sheep, 600 more.
The NLRS said the quality of the lambs was fair to good and included about half a dozen pens of new season young lambs. The usual buyers attended and there was some restocker activity, although that was mostly restricted to young first cross ewes.
Well-finished young lambs suitable to the trade sold on a firm to slightly dearer market trend, with most purchased by local butcher orders. The trade weight old lambs sold to a slightly cheaper trend. Heavy weight lambs also saw a marginally cheaper market trend. There was some discounting for secondary quality lambs in all weight categories.
Some very well-finished medium and heavy weight sheep were penned. The medium weights sold $1-$6 dearer. Heavy sheep also sold to a dearer trend and included some pens of young sheep.
Forbes trade lambs firm to $2 easier
On Tuesday at the Forbes saleyards, the agents yarded 32,600 lambs, 7663 more than last week, and 5470 sheep, 570 fewer.
The NLRS said lamb quality reduced slightly, with more plainer and rougher lambs. The usual buyers competed in a market that held firm for the better lambs, but was cheaper for the plainer secondary types. Quality was mixed in the 9000 new season lambs.
Prices remained firm, with trade weights selling from $118-$157. Heavy lambs sold from $152-$165. Carcase prices ranged from 630-650c/kg cwt. Old light lambs sold from $107-$112. Trade weights were firm to $2 easier, from $115-$149. Heavy and extra heavy weight lambs were also firm to $2 easier. Heavy lambs sold from $147-$152. Extra heavy weights made $154-$210, or 572-613c/kg.
Mutton quality remained mixed. Prices eased, with Merino ewes selling from $77-$129. Heavy crossbred ewes sold from $106-$136 and Merino wethers from $84-$136.
Inverell market firm
At the Inverell saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 2915 lambs, 997 fewer than last week, and 882 sheep, 528 less.
The NLRS said there were good numbers of light and trade weight lambs, but fewer heavy weights. Quality was good, although there were a few pens of plain lambs and more shorn lambs offered. Prices varied and quality had some influence, but overall the market changed little.
The sheep were mostly mainly ewes, with a few pens of wethers. Quality was fairly good, with mainly light and medium weight sheep offered. It was a generally firm market.
Bendigo’s best lambs sell firm to dearer
In Victoria at the Bendigo saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 8858 lambs, 894 fewer than last week, and 10,054 sheep, 1056 less.
The NLRS said the supply of old lambs continued to decline, but an increase in new season lambs meant overall numbers remained similar to a week ago. More sheep were offered, dominated by shorn ewes, amid reports many farmers are now weaning lambs. All the regular buyers attended, but not all competed to capacity in the lamb or sheep markets. Lamb quality was very mixed and bidding favoured the limited supply of well-finished trade and export weight lambs, which sold firm to dearer in places.
Secondary slaughter crossbred and Merino lambs under about 22kg cwt sold $8-$20 easier. Very small and light lambs suiting restocker orders averaged dearer. The market reached a top of $202 for heavy export lambs with an estimated carcase weight of 32kg. The best of the 23kg new season lambs sold to $158. Several bigger lines of light weight Merino lambs which sold to restockers at $38-$56, while the crossbred lambs sold back to the paddock tended to be smaller and younger types that made $48-$64. Secondary lambs in the light kill and trade weight categories were cheaper, with most sales from $70-$125, depending on weight and quality. The better presented lambs suiting supermarkets and top-end domestic orders mostly sold from $140-$160, at an estimated 570-605c/kg cwt.
Most of the export weight lambs sold from $167-$180, with just two extra heavy pens above $200, including the market top of $202. The lead drafts of new season lambs, mostly off irrigation, sold from $128-$158 and averaged around 620-625c/kg. Young lighter lambs not as fresh sold from $90-$119. A big draft of young Merino wether lambs sold to restockers at $24-$68.60.
Heavy ewes sold $10 cheaper, while light mutton under 20kg cwt was dearer. Heavy ewes sold from $90-$127.50, and the general run of trade ewes made from $67-$90. Extra heavy crossbred wethers sold to $120.
Ballarat lambs firm to $5 dearer
At the Ballarat saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 4474 lambs, 439 fewer than last week, and 2332 sheep, 2280 less.
The NLRS said most of the regular buyers attended, but operated selectively. Quality was mixed, but there were several pens of better finished and well-presented lambs. They mostly sold firm to $5 dearer to domestic orders. Plainer 2 score lambs sold easier. A restocking order from Echuca purchased lambs mostly from $73-$99, with feeders paying from $105-$118 for their replacements. Light weight 1 and 2 score lambs sold from $65-$102. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $82-$120.60 and averaged around 560c/kg cwt. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $123-$155, from 550-620c/kg to average around 590c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $152-$181. Heavy hoggets made to $116 and Merino lambs sold from $83.50-$99.
Sheep quality was average. Lighter sheep sold close to firm and most others eased $4-$8. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $54-$60. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep sold from $60-$94, or 350-380c/kg to average around 370c/kg cwt for the Merino’s. Heavy 3 to 5 score crossbred sheep sold from $77-$140. Heavy Merino wethers made $78.50-$111.50, and medium weights sold from $60.50-$90, or 380-385c/kg.
Dublin trade weight lambs lift $2
In South Australia at the SA Livestock Exchange, Dublin, the agents yarded 10,493 lambs, 189 more than last week, and 2322 sheep, 229 more.
The NLRS said the mixed quality crossbred and Merino lambs sold to generally easing competition from the usual trade and processor buyers. Fewer new seasons lambs were yarded and they generally lacked the polish of last week’s offering. Feeders and restockers were most prominent on the many light weights. The best quality new seasons crossbreds sold to stronger trade competition with the inclusion of one supermarket operator who added some impetus to prices.
Light weight new seasons crossbreds sold to feeders from $76-$104 and a small offering of new seasons Merinos sold to restockers at $70. Light weight 4 score crossbreds eased $8 to trade buyers at $92-$115, averaging 579c/kg cwt. Trade weights lifted a marginal $2, to $137-$161 to average 594c/kg. Light weight 3 score old crossbreds sold from $90-$105 and averaged 547c/kg. Light trade weight 4 scores eased $7 to $115-$132, averaging 544c/kg. The heavy trade weights eased $11, selling from $120-$151, to average 529c/kg cwt. Heavy weight 4 scores eased $4-$8 to $139-$178, or 554-574c/kg cwt.
Merino lambs were plentiful and restockers paid $80-$114 for woolly lines. Light weights eased $5 to processors, selling from $88-$109. Trade weights eased $4-$12, to $99-$112, or 441-471c/kg cwt. Heavy weights sold from $110-$130.
The generally good quality sheep sold to stronger processor competition with the participation of an extra Victorian operator. Light weight 2 score ewes lifted $5, selling from $72-$96 and averaging 317c/kg cwt. Heavy weight 3 scores sold from $77-$110 and averaged 312c/kg. Heavy weight wethers attracted sustained bidding, lifting $11 to $90-$120, or an average 362c/kg. Heavy weight rams sold from $64-$96.
Naracoorte trade lambs lift $10-$12
On Tuesday at the Naracoorte saleyards, the agents yarded 1454 lambs, 245 more than last week, and 1088 sheep, 496 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was mixed, with fewer trade and processor buyers, but prices generally improved. Restockers had only a limited impact.
More new season lambs came forward, with light weights selling from $42-$56, and heavier lines making $89-$126. Most of the lambs were older types, with the light weight selection making $43-$53. The lighter end of the 2 and 3 score trade lambs ranged from $80-$112, improving $10-$12. Trade weight 3 score lambs were in short supply and lifted $10 to $115-$133, or an average of 570c/kg cwt. The few pens of heavier lambs mostly ranged from $132-$146, but up to $168 in an isolated sale.
The sheep sold $4-$6 easier. Most the sheep were Merino ewes, with light weight types ranging from $28-$50. Medium weight Merinos ranged from $68-$85, with heavy Merinos ranging from $75-$96. Medium weighted crossbred ewes sold from $67-$84 and heavy lines made $85-$100. One pen of young Merino ewes sold to a restocker for $100. Rams sold to $77.
Muchea yarding almost halved after rain
In Western Australia at the Muchea saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 3906 lambs, 4269 fewer than last week, and 2580 sheep, 3034 less.
The NLRS said numbers nearly halved after last week’s solid rain across most of the drawing area. Lamb quality was very plain, with only a few pens of prime lambs. Competition remained firm, with most of the buyers present, though some were not active.
Light store lambs sold to restockers for $29-$58, with most being Merino drafts. Light lamb suitable for air freight processors and restockers made $55-$95 to be close to $5 dearer. Trade lambs, mostly secondary drafts, made $85-$122 and were marginally dearer due to supply. Better drafts averaged close to 510c/kg, with the plainer drafts from 440-500c/kg cwt. Heavy lambs made up to $126, or close to 540c/kg.
Ewe mutton was moderately supplied and plainer in quality, with limited numbers of well-conditioned ewes. Ewe mutton prices were marginally dearer and there were solid numbers of cross breed ewes, mostly Dorper cross. Light weight drafts made $40-$55. The 2 score mutton sold to processors for $63-$73, to be $2 dearer at 310c/kg cwt. Better conditioned and heavy weight ewes made $65-$95 to remain firm. Restockers purchased suitable drafts at slightly dearer prices, ranging from $45-$85.
Wether drafts sold mostly to feeders and restockers, with some heavier drafts to processors. Heavy weight drafts made $75-$89, to be close to firm. Lighter and store drafts sold $5 easier at $58-$80. Rams sold well, mostly to live export and processors.
Live export orders for rams kept these buoyant, but other prices were difficult to trend due to the numbers and quality. Ram lambs made $80-$110, with suitable young rams to live export making $50-$87. Old rams sold to processors for mostly $50-$75.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.