Saleyard lamb competition boost lifts trade and heavy rates

Sheep Central, February 22, 2016
These August-September drop Merino lambs 16.3kg cwt and mostly score 1, sold for $93 at Bourke, NSW, on AuctionsPlus last week.

These August-September drop Merino lambs 16.3kg cwt and mostly score 1, sold for $93 at Bourke, NSW, on AuctionsPlus last week.

TRADE and heavy lamb prices firmed further in New South Wales saleyards late last week, as young ewe prices improved on AuctionsPlus.

More buyers competed for the lambs at Cowra and Griffith on Friday, lifting trade lamb prices by $3-$5 and heavy lamb rates by up to $4-$6.

The National Livestock Reporting Service quoted its Eastern States Daily Indicators for trade and heavy lambs as slightly improved after Friday’s saleyard sales, but generally 3-5c/kg lower for the week. All other ESDI lamb indicators were unchanged or slightly lower for the day.

The NLRS ESDIs for lamb, their daily and weekly changes are: restocker 551c/kg, down 2 cents, down 3c; Merino 495c/kg, no change, up 8c; light 517c/kg, down 2c, down 12c; trade 529c/kg, up 1c, down 5c; heavy 526c/kg, up 2c, down 3c. The National trade lamb indicator gained 1 cent on Friday to 529c/kg and the heavy indice lifted 2 cents to 526c/kg.

The ESDI and national mutton indicators equalised at 299c/kg.

Online sheep offering increased last week

AuctionsPlus reported an increase of 3181 sheep and lambs to 65,864 in its online eastern states sales catalogue last week.

High numbers of younger Merino ewes and Merino wethers were offered in the three sheep sales last Tuesday and in Thursday’s sale.

At Jabuk in South Australia, 149 9-10 months old Bibirra blood mid-September shorn Merino Ewe lambs made the top price $123, with the category averaging $70. The Jabuk ewe lambs weighed 44.9kg lwt and were mostly score 2 and 3.

At Ardlethan in NSW, two lines of 200 2-2.5 year-old mid-August shorn Merino Ewes, 73.4kg lwt and mostly score 3 and 4, and which had lambs as maidens made $199. These ewes were scanned in lamb 130 percent to Border Leicester rams. The same vendor sold another 390 similar ewes for $198.

In Warren NSW, 332 4.5 year-old, mid-October shorn pure Haddon Rig blood Merino ewes scanned in lamb 145pc to Border Leicester rams sold for $165. The 2-4 score ewes weighed 60.7kg. Another 999 ewes of the same joining and shearing from the vendor, 2.5-6.5 years-old, sold from $140-$161.  A line of 500 4.5 year-old mid-August shorn Merino Ewes from Caldwell, NSW, 65.9kg lwt and mostly score 3-4, and scanned in lamb 153pc to White Suffolks sold for $156.

Merino wether numbers increased slightly on AuctionsPlus last week, with lambs again dominating this category. Wether lambs this week averaged $64, which was down $2 from last week for this category, but buyer confidence was still present. The top price was a line of 560 woolly August-September drop wethers from Bourke, NSW, weighed 16.3kg cwt and were mostly score 1. Their price of $93 was $10.50 higher than last week’s top-priced wether lambs. The top-priced hoggets this week, at $80.50, was some end-May shorn 16-18 month-olds from Skipton, Victoria. The Nerstane blood wethers weighed 16.3kg cwt and were mostly score 2 and 3.

Store lambs sold this week included: 29-31kg, $83-$91, to average $87.50 or 685c/kg cwt including skin value; 32-36kg, $80-$97 to average $89 or 637c/kg; 37-38kg, $84.50-$110 to average $103.50 or 651c/kg; 39-40kg, $102-$114 to average $109 or $614c/kg,

Young first cross ewe numbers slightly decreased on line last week in comparison to last week, with most being young ewe lambs. The average for young ewe lambs was $145, up $44 on last week, with a top price of $169 for 160 unjoined April-May drop lambs, mid-December shorn, 49.6kg cwt and mostly score 4. At Corowa, NSW, 523 April-May drop October shorn first cross ewe lambs, 44.47kg lwt, sold for $150-$155. A line of 230 3-3.5 year-old mid-September shown first cross ewes at Forbes NSW, scanned 100pc in lamb to Poll Dorsets, made the top price of $181 for proven breeders.

AuctionsPlus said a line of unjoined Merino ewes will be covering some ground making the journey from Barcaldine, Queensland to Nathalia, Victoria — a 1640km trip. Another line of mixed sex lambs from Mungindi, NSW will be making the trek to Rochester, Victoria which is over 1100km.

Griffith’s heavy lambs lift $4-$6

In New South Wales at the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 8900 lambs, 712 more than last week, and 2600 sheep, 29 fewer.

The NLRS said lamb quality reduced slightly from previous sales. There were still good numbers of well-finished lambs offered though there were more plainer types. Most lambs were heavy and extra heavy weights. More buyers competed in a dearer market.

Light lambs lifted $4 to $92-$107. Trade weights were $3 better at $106-$130. Heavy and extra heavy weight lambs were $4-$6 dearer. Heavy lambs sold from $131-$144 and extra heavies made $141-$182. Carcase prices ranged from 511-534c/kg.

Most of the sheep were mixed quality Merinos. Merino ewes sold from $80-$96. Crossbreds made $81-$101 and Dorper ewes $64-$103. Merino wethers ranged from $82-$109.

Cowra’s medium and heavy trade lambs lift $3-$5

At the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 6770 lambs, 1620 more than last week, and 1420 sheep, 230 fewer.

The NLRS said heavy and extra heavy weight lamb quality was good. There were more plainer lambs showing signs of dryness. Mainly heavy lambs were penned, with limited numbers of trade weights, but more store lambs compared to the last sale. All the usual buyers operated plus one extra and competition was solid, resulting in a firm to slightly dearer market.

Light lambs sold to processors were $4 dearer and averaged $101.50. Store lambs averaged $85. Medium and heavy trade weight lambs were $3-$5 dearer and averaged around 550c/kg cwt. Most heavy trade weights sold from $125-$136. Heavy weight lambs were firm to $2 dearer and mostly sold from 500-540c/kg. A pen of extra heavy weight lambs made $173 and weighed an estimated 32kg cwt.

Mutton quality was mixed. Medium Merino ewes were $3 cheaper and mostly ranged from $57-$74 or 295c/kg cwt. Heavy first cross ewes averaged $90 or 270c/kg.

Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.


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