Saleyard lamb prices finish week generally firm to dearer despite quality decline

Sheep Central, May 9, 2016
These July drop mid-November shorn White Suffolk cross lambs, 16.7kg cwt and mostly score 3, sold for $106 at Avenel in Victoria on AuctionsPlus last week.

These July drop mid-November shorn White Suffolk cross lambs, 16.7kg cwt and mostly score 3, sold for $106 at Avenel in Victoria on AuctionsPlus last week.

SALEYARD lamb prices were firm to dearer late last week despite generally lower quality offerings on Friday.

Griffith yarded more lambs on Friday than last week, but Cowra’s numbers continued to decline and AuctionsPlus also reported lower offerings after rain across much of eastern Australia.

The National Livestock Reporting Service quoted the Eastern States Daily Indicators for most lamb categories as around firm, finishing a week of significant gains for most slaughter and crossbred restocker lambs.

After Friday’s saleyards sales, the NLRS ESDIs for the lamb categories, their daily and weekly changes were: restocker, 526c/kg, down 2 cents, up 16c; Merino 483c/kg, up 1c, up 2c; light 516c/kg, up 1c, up 5c; trade 525c/kg, down 1c, up 5c; heavy 523c/kg, no change, up 8c. The national trade lamb indicator finished the week unchanged at 526c/kg and the heavy indice closed up 1 cent to 523c/kg.

The ESDI and national mutton indicators both finished down 1 cent on 341c/kg.

Griffith trade lambs firm to $3 dearer

In New South Wales at the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 9300 lambs, 800 more than last week, and 1500 sheep, 400 fewer.

The NLRS said lamb quality reduced, with more plainer, drier lambs penned along with a few well-finished lines. Heavy and extra heavyweight lambs were again well-supplied, along with a quality offering of Merinos. The usual buyers competed in a market that was firm to dearer on a plainer offering.

Light lambs sold from $97-$104. Trade weights were firm to $3 dearer at $108-$130. Heavy and extra heavyweight lambs were also firm to $2 dearer in a plainer offering. Heavy lambs sold from $125-$139 and extra heavyweights made $135-$184. Carcase prices averaged from 496-524c/kg. An outstanding run of Merino lambs sold from $107-$167.

Sheep quality was very mixed. Prices lifted, with Merino ewes reaching $125. Heavy crossbred ewes sold from $116-$134. A run of young Merino wethers sold from $92-$133.

Cowra’s heavy lambs $5 dearer

In the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 4750 lambs, 100 fewer than last week, and 950 sheep, 1030 less.

The NLRS said lamb quality slipped. The supplementary fed lambs were in good condition, but the remainder of the yarding tended to lack finish. There were reasonable numbers of heavy weight lambs, some handy runs of trade weights and more store drafts. Competition was solid from the usual buyers, particularly for the 23-24kg cwt lambs.

Store lambs sold from $80-$109. Medium and heavier trade weights were firm and made from 516-540c/kg cwt. Most of the better heavy trade weights sold from $125-$133. Heavy lambs were $5 dearer and made 510-550c/kg. A few pens of extra heavy weight lambs sold from $150-$168.

Sheep quality was mixed and most grades were dearer. Heavy first cross ewes were $7 dearer and averaged $102 or 293c/kg cwt for the 4 scores. Medium weight Merino wethers sold from $68-$86, up $11.

Rain precedes drop in online sheep and lamb offerings

AuctionsPlus sheep and lamb numbers dropped by 3713 to 37,617 last week after the relief of much needed rain the previous weekend.

Merino ewe lambs averaged $68 last week, with a line of 104 mid-November shorn 11-12 month olds, 36.8kg lwt and mostly score 1, at Naracoorte, South Australia making the top price of $90.

Proven Merino breeders averaged $115, making up to $145 for a line of 200 late March shorn 3.5-4.5 year-old Milburn Creek blood ewes at Corowa, NSW, 65kg lwt and mostly score 2 and 3, and scanned 151 percent in lamb to Poll Dorsets.

Aged Merino Ewes averaged $86, selling from $55-$115. The top price was paid for a line of mid-December shorn 5.5-8.5 year old ewes, 61.7kg lwt and mostly score 1 and 2, scanned 100pc in lamb to Border Leicester rams at Guyra, New South Wales.

The average price of Merino wether lambs increase by $7 to $67 last week, ranging from $41-$94. The top-priced line of 120 Kerrilyn blood early November shorn August-drop wethers at Redbank in Victoria weighed 13.7kg cwt and were mostly score 2. Merino wether hoggets averaged $45 and grown wethers averaged $61.

Store lambs weighing under 30kg lwt sold from $50-$70.50, averaging $60 or 237c/kg lwt including skin value; 30-35kg lambs made $70-$103, averaging $92 or 285c/kg lwt, and; 35-40kg lambs sold from $96-$107, averaging $102 or 269c/kg lwt. Heavy 40kg-plus lambs sold from $88-$105.50, averaging $94 or 226c/kg lwt.

First cross ewe lambs sold to $111 last week, for a line of 335 lat January shorn August-September drop lambs from Yendon in Victoria that weighted 30.4kg lwt and were mostly score 2. A line of 138 late March-shorn June drop White Suffolk-Merino cross ewe at Concongella in Victoria sold for $10. They weighed 52.7kg lwt, were mostly score 3 and scanned 124pc in lamb to Poll Dorset rams.

Composite ewe lambs sold to $150.50 for a line of 310 late January shorn August-September drop ewes at Nhill in Victoria. The lambs weighed 56.2kg lwt and were mostly score 3.

Older first cross ewes sold to $162 for a line of 255 early February shorn five year-olds at Skipton in Victoria. The ewes weighed 73.5kg lwt, were mostly score 3 and 4, and scanned 160pc in lamb to Poll Dorset rams. A line of 19-20 month-old early April shorn Coopworth-Merino ewes at White Hills in northern Tasmania sold for $186 to a mainland buyer. The ewes weighed 60.5kg lwt, were mostly score 3, and scanned 159pc in lamb to Poll Dorsets way over to the main land and in addition topped this week’s sale at $186.

At dispersal sale in Tasmania store lambs averaged $93 and sold to $98, $23 over their reserve. Merino wether lambs, 7-9 months old, sold for $41. Station-mated Merino ewes sold for a top price of $55. A line of 117 joined 1.5-2.5 year-old Glen Esk blood Corriedale ewes, early March shorn, 54.9kg lwt and mostly score 3, made to $128.

Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.


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