TRADE, heavy and light lambs sold firm to dearer in many saleyards this week, supported by solid restocker competition lifting carcase weight rates, especially in Victoria.
Light 12-18kg cwt lambs in New South Wales sold to $116 or 675c/kg at Forbes and to $104 or 656c/kg at Corowa.
Light lambs with $1-$12 skins also sold well in South Australia, making to 639c/kg at Dublin and to 631c/kg at Naracoorte.
Light and medium trade weight lambs with $2-$10 skins made $93-$130 or 458-600c/kg at Dubbo and at Tamworth, 18.1-22kg lambs with skins valued at up to $11 made from $106-$136, or 533-586c/kg. At other NSW centres, the 18.1-22kg lambs with $1-$10 skins made $93-$136, or 381-582c/kg.
At the Bendigo saleyards, restockers from across the state lifted prices for light 12.1-18kg lambs by up to $11 to $66.60-$105, or 400-579c/kg. Light and medium trade lambs in Victoria with skins values from 0-$12 made $88-$125, or 342-537c/kg. Similar lambs in SA sold within the same range.
Prices for lambs over 22 kg also firmed across the nation, making up to $148 in NSW, to $140 in Victoria and to $160 in SA for a 30kg+ draft. These were within a carcase price range of 391-596c/kg.
Sheep prices also improved in most saleyards, also buoyed by restocker competition, with prices lifting by up to $10-$15 at Bendigo and by $5-$10 at most other saleyards.
NLRS indicators mixed
After Tuesday’s saleyard sales, the NLRS Eastern States Daily Indicators for lamb were: restocker 547c/kg, down 13 cents; light 452c/kg, down 4c; Merino 478c/kg, up 6c; trade 503c/kg, down 5c; heavy 497c/kg, up 2c. The national trade lamb indicator lost 6 cents to 502c/kg and the heavy indice closed up 2 cents on 496c/kg.
The ESDI and national indicator for mutton both gained 7 cents to close on 322c/kg.
Over-the-hook rates firming
In NSW, the NLRS said over-the-hook lamb indicators have firmed this week, following tighter supply and rainfall in some parts of the state last week. The rates for 2-4 score lambs are: 18-20kg, 460-480c/kg, up 3c; 20-24kg, 470-500c/kg, up 10c; 24-26kg, 430-500c/kg, up 12c; Merinos 16-22kg, 390-470c/kg, up 20c.
Rates for medium and heavy weight mutton lifted in NSW, while there is little demand for light weights. The 2-4 score mutton rates are: 14-18kg, 220-280c/kg, down 3c; 18-245kg, 260-320c/kg, up 12c; 24kg+, 240-320c/kg, up 8c.
In Victoria, the NLRS said over-the-hook indicators for light and trade weight lamb categories increased this week, with trade weights up an average of 10c/kg cwt week-on-week. Heavy weights and Merino lambs were unchanged. The rates for 2-4 score lambs are: 16-18kg, 480-500c/kg, up 13c; 18-24kg, 480-500c/kg, no change to up 10c; 24-26kg, 440-500c/kg, nc; Merinos 16-22kg, 430c/kg, nc.
Mutton over-the-hook indicators in Victoria lifted, with medium weights averaging 293c/kg cwt this week. The 2-4 score sheep rates are: 14-18kg, 240-300c/kg, up 13c; 18-24kg, 250-320c/kg, up 10c; 24kg+, 200-270c/kg, up 5c.
In South Australia, the NLRS said lamb over-the-hook indicators remained unchanged this week, except for Merino lambs lifting an average of 10c/kg cwt week-on-week. The 2-4 score lamb rates are: 16-18kg, 460c/kg; 22-24kg, 460-480c/kg; 24-26kg, 440-460c/kg; Merinos 16-22kg, 400c/kg, up 10c.
South Australia’s OTH mutton indicators were also steady. The 2-4 score sheep rates are: 14-18kg, 220-310c/kg; 18-24kg, 240-300c/kg; 24kg+, 200-280c/kg.
Tasmania’s OTH rates remained unchanged this week. The 2-4 score lamb rates are: 018kg, 460-480c/kg; 18-26kg, 470-480c/kg; 26kg+ 480c/kg.
Western Australia’s OTH rates for this week were not available when this report was published.
Dubbo’s heavy trade lambs $5 dearer
In New South Wales at the Dubbo saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 15,720 lambs, 10,230 fewer than last week, and 8600 sheep, 3120 fewer.
The NLRS said it was a fair quality yarding, with some reasonable lines of trade weight new season lambs and a large percentage of Merinos. Heavy weight lambs were in limited supply.
Light weight lambs sold $2 dearer, with the 12-18kg 2 scores selling from $65-$106. Trade weight lambs were firm to $2 dearer, with the 18-22kg new season lambs making $93-$130-average 535c/kg cwt. Trade weight old lambs sold from $92-$125. Heavy weight lambs sold $2-$5 dearer, with over 22kg old lambs making $130-$162. Heavy new season lambs sold to $148. The lighter weight Merino lambs were $2 cheaper and the heavier trade weights $5 dearer. The trade weight Merinos sold from $84-$121. Restockers paid to $114 and hoggets sold to $110.
All grades were represented in the mixed quality yarding of sheep. The mutton market was solid, with most grades selling at $5-$7 dearer rates. The 2 score ewes sold from $40-$72. The better 3 and 4 score Merinos sold from $68-$119 and crossbred sold-$108. Properly finished Merino wethers sold from $97-$118.
Corowa’s trade lambs $2 dearer
At the Corowa saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 11,500 lambs, 700 fewer than two weeks ago, and 4400 sheep, 1800 more.
The NLRS said the mixed yarding had more well-finished new season lambs, although the skins on most were drying off. There were few older lambs.
Restockers were active on the lighter weight Merino lambs that sold from $56-$66. Light weight lambs sold firm, with the 16-18kg cwt 2 scores making $83-$97. Trade weight new season lambs were $2 dearer, selling from $88-$124. A single pen of 26kg cwt new season lambs sold for $148. Trade and heavy weight old lambs were considerably dearer, with lambs over 18kg making $104-$137.
It was mostly a good quality yarding of sheep, with processors and restockers operating on most of the yarding. The prime conditioned ewes and wethers sold up to $10 dearer, with crossbred ewes making $80-$102 and Merino wethers-$92.
Tamworth’s better trade lambs $3 dearer
At the Tamworth saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 2400 lambs, 900 fewer than last week, and 1200 sheep, 300 more.
The NLRS said good quality trade weight young lambs were well-supplied with overall quality mostly good. There was a limited supply of heavyweight young lambs, with some showing dryness in the skin. All the usual buyers attended.
The market trend for young lambs was firm to slightly dearer. The better trade weights averaged $3 dearer. Lighter trade lambs remained firm. There was some quality related price change. Heavier young lambs remained firm. Trends were similar for the good quality old lambs, firm-slightly dearer.
The availability of a few more sheep allowed buyers-compete with more confidence to fill trucks, resulting in a firm to dearer market trend.
Forbes trade lambs $3-$4 dearer
At the Forbes saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 14,600 lambs, 6380 fewer than last week, and 5850 sheep, 30 less.
The NLRS said 5900 mixed quality new season lambs were penned. There were some better lines of finished lambs, plainer types and those showing seed contamination. Most of the usual buyers competed in a slightly dearer market.
Light new season lambs lifted $2 to $97-$112. Trade weights were also $2-$4 better at $110-$131. Heavy lambs sold firm-$4 dearer at $129-$149, at around 529-551c/kg cwt. Old light lambs averaged $98. Trade weights sold $3-$4 better at $104-$122. Heavy lambs also lifted $4 to range from $123-$145. Extra heavy weights reached $152.
Mutton quality improved slightly and prices lifted $6-$10. Merino ewes sold from $76-$121. Crossbred ewes made $74-$101. Dorper ewes sold from $75-$84. Merino wethers made $74-$111.
Bendigo’s restocker lambs gain $11
In Victoria at the Bendigo saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 19,747 lambs, 4708 more than last week, and 7966 sheep, 698 fewer.
The NLRS said lamb quality improved, with first draft young lambs from southern grazing areas appearing. The regular buyers attended, but not all operated at capacity.
The market showed a stronger trend of a few dollars dearer for most slaughter lambs, with lightweight store lambs sold to restockers recording the best gains. The market reached a top of $139.60 for export weight young lambs.
Strong restocker completion helped lift prices for lightweight lambs less than 20kg cwt, with the bulk selling to the paddock rather than to processors. Restockers paid to $107 for young lambs, but most sales were from $80-$95. The main restocking category of fat score 2 lambs weighing 12kg-16kg cwt averaged $84, to be $5 dearer. Plainer and lighter lambs in fat score 1 condition sold to restockers gained up to $11 to record the highest estimated carcase weight price in the sale of 579c/kg. The main restocking orders came from Rainbow, Kerang, Birchip, Shepparton, Swan Hill, Wycheproof and the local Bendigo area.
The supply of heavy and well-finished lambs in the yarding remained limited due to the dry season. About 10 pens of heavy lambs weighing from about 25-28kg cwt sold from $131-$139.60. The main drafts of better quality domestic lambs sold from $112-$125. On a carcase basis most sales were in an estimated range of 460-500c/kg, with select pens of very neat trade lambs at 525c/kg cwt at times.
Competition for sheep from processors was stronger and most weight categories of mutton gained $10-$15. Extra heavy crossbred ewes sold from $78-$91. Merino ewes made from $72-$84 and wethers sold to $89. The best trade mutton averaged over 300c/kg cwt.
Ballarat lamb prices firm
At the Ballarat saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 36,897 lambs, 16,907 more than last week, and 9158 sheep, 4099 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was again good, with a wide selection covering all classes. The usual buyers operated keenly in a mostly firm market, with lambs generally selling unchanged on last week.
Better presented domestic lambs sold to $135 and the heavy lambs made to $140. Restockers and feeders were active, sourcing lambs from $80-$109 and the lighter lots from $40-$75. Light weight 2 score lambs sold from $75-$88. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $83-$114.20 and averaged around 480c/kg cwt. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $104-$124, and the heavier lots sold from $119.50-$135, or 450-520c/kg to average around 490c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $133-$140.
All weights and grades of sheep were offered. Most of the regular buyers operated strongly in a dearer market, with most Merino sheep selling firm to $5 better. Heavy crossbred sheep sold $10 better. Restockers paid from $72-$88 for crossbred ewes. Merino wethers also sold to stronger demand.
Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $40-$72. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep sold from $54-$83, or 250-350c/kg. Merino mutton averaged around 320c/kg cwt. Heavy 3-5 score sheep sold from $61-$87. Heavy Merino wethers made $72-$91 and medium weights made from $60-$87, or an estimated 320c/kg cwt.
Dublin lamb prices up to $8
At the South Australian Livestock Exchange at Dublin on Tuesday, the agents yarded 8604 lambs, 976 fewer than last week, and 1960 sheep, 1059 less.
The NLRS said a generally inferior quality yarding of crossbred and Merino lambs sold to erratic but easing competition from the usual trade and processor buyers, although one South Australian processor didn’t operate and there was no supermarket input.
Feeder and restocker buyers were active. However, with the large numbers of store condition lambs available, prices remained unchanged to $8 easier. Light weight 2 score crossbreds remained unchanged and they sold to feeder buyers from $78-$88. Heavier 3 scores sold to feeders eased $8 at $84-$90. Some heavy lambs going on feed sold from $95-$107.
Light weight 3 score crossbreds sold to trade buyers eased marginally to $90-$105, averaging an estimated 464c/kg cwt. Light trade weight 3 scores eased $2 to $99-$107, averaging 445c/kg. Heavy trade weight 4 scores eased $3 to $104-$144, averaging 473c/kg. Heavy weights eased $5 to $120-$135, or 470-487c/kg. Light weight Merino lambs were abundant and restockers paid $40-$66. Light weight lambs sold to processors eased $8 to $45-$78; trade weight Merinos eased $7 to $80-$95, and heavy weights made $95-$110 to average 449c/kg.
Old crossbred lambs sold from $94-$112, heavy weight Merino lambs sold from $89-$110, heavy weight Merino hoggets sold from $80-$110 and the equivalent crossbreds returned $96-$108.
The mixed quality sheep yarding sold to stronger competition from processors. Restockers operated on heavy weight ewes up to $80. Light weight 2 score ewes were in demand from processors and lifted up $17 to $45-$78, averaging 268c/kg cwt. Heavy weight 3 score ewes lifted $16 to $60-$85, to average 246c/kg. Heavy weight wethers were scarce and lifted $3 to $75-$92, returning 271c/kg. Heavy weight rams made $40-$52.
Naracoorte lamb prices firm
At the Naracoorte saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 21,501 lambs, 1993 more than last week, and 3085 sheep, 1118 more.
The NLRS said quality was mixed, with some excellent heavy lambs. Large runs of light store lambs were in demand with restockers. More trade and processor buyers were active and prices were generally firm.
Lightweight lambs sold the trade for $78-$99, with restockers mainly paying $71-$98 for large numbers of lambs to grow on. These lambs were firm in price. Lightweight trade 2 and 3 score lambs ranged from $94-$106 to be slightly easier in price.
Trade weight 3 score lambs sold firm at $104-$123 to average of 480c/kg cwt. Heavy 4 score lambs ranged from $115-$134, with extra heavy export weighted lambs reaching a market high of $160.
Light weight 1 and 2 score ewes sold from $51-$56 and medium weight 2 and 3 score ewes made $58-$78 to average 280c/kg cwt. Heavy 3 and 4 score ewes ranged from mainly $66-$87. Lighter ewes were firm in price and the heavier types were slightly easier. Hoggets and wethers sold to $84 with rams to $70.
Muchea restockers keen on suitable lamb
In Western Australia at the Muchea saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 4500 lambs, 2695 fewer than last week, and 4725 sheep, 1875 less.
The NLRS said harvest is underway in some districts. Lamb quality was mixed, with mainly trade and light weight lambs yarded. Lamb quality was mixed with limited numbers of prime drafts. All the usual buyers attended, but not all operated fully.
Restockers were keen on suitable lamb. Lamb prices were firm to $3 dearer, especially to restockers and feeders. Light store lambs sold to restockers for $33-$66. Light lambs sold to feeders and processors for $57-$88, averaging close to firm.
Trade weight lambs sold from $86-$103, with those going to feeders averaging around 430c/kg and better finished drafts making close to 450c/kg. Heavy lambs sold to $108.50. More shorn lambs were offered and sold at similar prices.
Solid numbers of ewes were available, but quality was mixed with limited number of heavy sheep. There were some good pens of ewe hoggets and young wethers available. Ewe prices were generally firm to $3 dearer, driven by solid restocker interest. Light ewes sold to processors made $30-$53, with the medium weight 2 score ewes making $40-$60 to be $3 dearer. Better conditioned and heavier weight ewes sold from $52-$81, with dearer ewes having high skin values.
Restockers paid $40-$80 for suitable mature ewes and ewe hoggets made $40-$77, both up $2-$12. Suitable ewes had solid support from restockers, with ewe drafts lifting $3-$12.
Wether competition was limited to restockers and prices eased $5 on heavier drafts. Heavy wethers with longer wool sold to $113 with bare shorn liners making $75-$95. Lighter weight and store wethers sold close to firm and made $55-$85.
Rams lacked strong competition. Young rams mostly made $30-$65 and old rams $10-$30. Ram lambs sold to processors made $68- $87, similar to last week.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus