Lamb and mutton prices finished relatively firm for quality in saleyards across Australia last week.
New season lambs lifted $4-$11 on Friday at Cowra for a quality offering, with even old lamb rates rising slightly. This contrasted with Griffith where dryness in the offering helped bring new season lamb rates back up to $5. At Shepparton on Friday, prices for the good quality new season lamb yarding were unchanged, while the old lamb rates fell $10.
The Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator finished last week on 466c/kg and the heavy lamb indicator closed at 465, both down one cent on Thursday. The ES mutton indicator was unchanged at 322c/kg.
Nationally, the restocker lamb indicator finished on Friday at 479c/kg, down three cents, the Merino lamb indicator closed at 450c/kg, up two cents, and the light lamb indicator was at 450c/kg, up two cents. The national trade lamb indicator closed at 468c/kg and the heavy lamb mark was 465c/kg, both down one cent.
Shorn Merino ewes sell to $211 on AuctionsPlus
AuctionsPlus also reported store lamb prices as unchanged within a larger offering of 50,057 sheep and lambs, up 1500.
AuctionsPlus market operations manager Tony Benson said store lamb numbers were gradually increasing as the peak selling season approached. The 35-36kg lambs made $85 to $89, 37kg-38kg lines sold for $78.50 to $85, and at the heavier end 39kg-40kg drafts made $80 to $93. The heaviest line of crossbred lambs this week sold to a processor at an estimated dressed weight of 19.6kg for $100.
Watervalley Pty Ltd’s Lindley Park first cross ewe lambs, 3-4 months-old and 34.2kg liveweight, made up to $119.50 at Keith, SA, last Thursday, through Elders Kingston. Their lighter ewe lambs 27.6-33kg made $94-$108 and the wether portion, 25.5-36kg, made $55-$81.
“With a lack of significant follow up rain after last month’s price spike we have seen a correction in the last few weeks affecting clearance more so than prices, with the better quality offerings still making good money,” Mr Benson said.
“It was pleasing to see confidence in a long term outlook, despite depressed sheep clearance rates this week.”
Mr Benson said maiden Merino ewes were the highlight last week, selling to an outstanding top price of $211 for 220 64.6kg June-July 2013-drop bare shorn Pooginook blood ewes from EL and DE McKenzie, ‘Grasmere’ at Bethurga, through Bluechip Livestock, Cootamundra. A second line of 60.2 kg Grasmere ewes made $160. Most other maiden Merino ewes sold from $100-$160. Young unjoined proven breeders made $107.50-$129 and old ewes to soon drop a crossbred lamb made $95-$114.
The Grassmere flock was ranked first for dollars per hectare return from 60 teams in the 2012 Peter Westblade Memorial Merino Challenge, one of the country’s largest wether trials.
Drier skins drops lamb rates $5 at Griffith
In NSW at Griffith on Friday, agents yarded 17,600 lambs, 1500 less than last week, and 8800 sheep, 2400 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was similar to last week sale, with good numbers of well-finished lambs, although some showed signs of dryness. There were 13,900 new season lambs, with trade weights well-supplied. The usual buyers competed in a cheaper market.
Light new season lambs were firm to $1 easier, selling from $93-$104. Trade weights were $3-$4 easier, with prices ranging from $101-$119. Heavy lambs slipped $5, selling from $114-$125. Extra heavy weights made $124-$134. Carcase prices averaged from 448c/kg-487c/kg cwt. Old trade weight lambs made $74-$101.
Heavy weights ranged from $106-$116 and extra heavy weights made $118-$159.
The sheep were mostly Merinos. Quality was mixed and prices slipped $5-$7. Merino ewes sold from $71-$100. Crossbreds ranged from $74-$95 and Merino wethers sold from $76-$88.
Light new season lambs up $11 at Cowra
In Cowra on Friday, agents yarded 9150 lambs, 950 more than last week, including 7250 new season lambs, and 1550 sheep, 750 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was very good, with the new season lambs in top condition and the old grades generally well-presented. There were mainly heavy weights penned, along with a good run of trade lambs, while light grades were limited in supply. The usual buyers operated in a dearer market.
Light new season lambs were up to $11 dearer and averaged $97.90. Medium and heavy trade weight new seasons were firm to $4 dearer and averaged from 482c/kg-490c/kg cwt. Most of the fresh heavy trade weights made $106-$112. Heavy weights were firm to $4 dearer and averaged 465c/kg-471c/kg cwt. A few pens of extra heavy weight new season lambs sold from $131-$137.
Old trade weight lambs were $2 dearer and averaged $97.30, while heavy weights were firm to $1 dearer and averaged 426c/kg cwt. The odd pen of heavy weight lambs sold from $120-$123.
Mutton numbers increased and quality was good across all grades. Medium Merino ewes were $5 better and averaged $68/head or 293c/kg cwt. Heavy first cross ewes averaged $82, while heavy wethers sold to $100/head.
New season lamb prices firm at Shepparton
In Victoria at Shepparton on Friday, agents yarded 3897 lambs, 464 more than last week, and 410 sheep, 44 more.
The NLRS said there was a small field of trade and export buyers, as well as one major supermarket and odd restocker buyers. Quality was good to very good for the 3417 new season lambs, although was mixed for the 480 old lambs penned. Prices averaged unchanged for new season lambs and heavier old lambs, but old trade weight lambs sold $10 cheaper. The mixed quality offering of sheep maintained last week’s prices.
The light trade weight 2 and 3 score new season lambs sold from $78-$90. Medium to heavy weight 3 scores were from $88-$116 and averaged 475c/kg cwt. Heavy 4 score new season lambs made $115-$135 and also averaged 475c/kg cwt.
The old 3 score trade weight lambs made $65-$75 and averaged 335c/kg cwt. Heavy old lambs made $65-$100, with the extra heavies selling to $113.50.
Light weight sheep sold from $30-$57, while medium weights made $60-$77 and the heavy weight sheep ranged from $73-$95, with restockers paying to $102 for extra heavy weight ewes. A run of 2 to 4 score ewes and wethers averaged an estimated 285c/kg cwt. The few rams sold from $50-$55.
Source: MLA, NLRS