Saleyard lamb prices finished the week on a rising trend last week, with demand from restockers remaining strong for quality light lambs and lines up to 20kg cwt.
MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service quoted the Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator as closing the week on 465c/kg cwt, up three cents, and the heavy lamb indicator at 461c/kg cwt, up two cents. The mutton indicator was up one cent to 294c/kg cwt.
The national lamb indicators also improved for the processing categories, but the restocker and light lamb levels dropped and the Merino indicator was unchanged. The lamb indicators were: restocker 472c/kg, down 4 cents; Merino 394c/kg, nc; light 430c/kg, down 1c; trade 462c/kg, up 2c, and; heavy 460c, up 3c. The mutton indicator closed at 291 cents, up one cent.
Store lamb surge on AuctionsPlus
Sheep and lamb numbers on AuctionsPlus remained static this week at 57,495 head, with improved clearance rates on sheep.
There was a surge in store lamb numbers on AuctionsPlus this week, mostly due to coming into the peak southern selling season, and prices were steady to slightly firmer. The 28-30kg liveweight lambs made $60.50-$81.50 with the outlying top priced lot being quality Border Leicester/Merinos containing future breeders. The 32-33kg liveweight lambs sold for $75-$87.50 and 34-35kg drafts made $76-$88.50. The 39-41kg lambs sold for $85-$100.
An offering of Merino ewes out of South Australia was the feature of this week’s AuctionsPlus results. The North Ashrose & Mutooroo blood ewes were offered unjoined and just a few weeks off the board at Jamestown. The maidens made $164, and two to four year olds sold from $117.50-$143.50. Elsewhere maiden ewe prices were steady at $83-$150.
First cross ewe lambs continued to sell well on AuctionsPlus, with prices ranging from $101-$155.50. The new season Merino wether lambs offered sold from $47.50-$76 to average $62.
Lamb quality very good at Corowa
In NSW at the Corowa saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 8605 lambs, 1195 fewer than last week, and 1680 sheep, 480 more.
The NLRS said quality was very good with the 8000 new season lambs offered in top condition. Old lamb supplies were very limited. The yarding was mainly trade and heavy weight lambs, plus slightly more store lambs suitable for restockers. All the buyers operated and competition was good, resulting in a dearer market.
Light lambs to the restockers averaged from $71-$88. Medium and heavy trade weight new season lambs were $1 dearer and averaged from 458c/kg-468c/kg cwt. Most of the better quality heavy trade weight lambs sold from $104-$108. Heavy weight new season lambs were $3-$5 dearer and averaged from 445c/kg-455c/kg cwt. A few pens of extra heavy weight lambs sold from $130-$140.
Old lambs were limited in number with heavy weight lambs holding firm and averaged $104.10 or around 400c/kg cwt.
Mutton quality was good. Heavy first cross ewes were $5 cheaper and averaged $80, or 267c/kg cwt. Heavy wethers sold to $107.50, or 313c/kg cwt.
Trade and heavy lambs $5-$8 dearer at Griffith
In the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 11,500 lambs, 5800 fewer than last week, and 7300 sheep, 2100 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was fair, though reduced slightly from the previous sales. Some good lines of well-finished lambs were offered, along the plainer types and another large run of store lambs. Most of the usual buyers competed in the dearer market.
New season lambs to restockers sold from $69-$93. Light lambs lifted $3 selling from $85-$100. Trade weights were $5-$7 dearer with prices ranging from $98-$117. Heavy and extra heavy lambs were also $5-$8 dearer.
Heavy lambs sold from $115-$125 and extra heavy weights made from $125-$134. Carcase prices averaged from 477c/kg-491c/kg cwt.
Old trade weight lambs sold from $84-$106. Heavy weights received from $108-$116 and extra heavy weights made from $115-$147.
Mutton numbers lifted with mixed quality Merinos continuing to make up the majority of the offering. Prices remained fairly steady with Merino ewes selling from $72-$100. Crossbreds ranged from $72-$85. Merino wethers sold from $74-$97.
Processor demand for light lambs at Shepparton
In Victoria at the Shepparton saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 6600 lambs, 985 more than last week, and 800 sheep, 100 fewer.
The NLRS said there were several pens of young lambs from the higher rainfall areas of Mansfield and Benalla, and the quality of the new season lambs was very good. The regular buyers operated and prices for lambs sold to slaughter were firm to a few dollars dearer than last week. Some sales of store lambs to restockers were a few dollars cheaper.
The market reached a top of $134 for a pen of young lambs estimated to weigh about 27kg cwt, but with fewer export weight lambs there were only limited sales above $125.
There was restocker competition from the local Goulburn Valley area plus Yarrawonga and Alexandra. They paid from $56-$96 for lambs to go back to the paddock, for an average of about $89. There was also solid processor support for well-conditioned light weight (16-20kg) lambs at $86-$100. The bulk of the young lambs were in the trade weight categories and sold from $108-$124, or an estimated range of 460c/kg-480c/kg cwt for most, with odd sales of well-bred lambs higher. There were only limited pens of export lambs and these averaged an estimated 465c/kg cwt.
The sheep yarding comprised mainly mixed lots of ewes. Heavy first cross ewes sold from $70-$84, while the medium weight ewes made from $45-$65 to average around 245c/kg-250c/kg cwt across the yarding.
Sources: MLA, NLRS.