LAMB prices held firm in saleyards late last week after big weekly rises in the major slaughter categories.
Saleyard lamb offerings improved in number and quality last Friday, but sheep and lamb numbers on AuctionsPlus last week fell 4000 to 33,236.
After Friday’s saleyard sales, the National Livestock Reporting Service quoted all the Eastern Daily Indicators for lamb and sheep as slightly improved, with trade lambs lifting up to $7 and heavy lines improving by up to $13.
The ESDIs for lambs, the daily and weekly changes included: restocker 538c/kg, up 3 cents daily, up 12 cents weekly; Merino 515c/kg, up 1c, up 32c; light 545c/kg, up 2c, up 29c; trade 562c/kg, up 2c, up 37c; heavy 558c/kg, up 3c, up 35c.
The national trade lamb indicator finished the week up 2 cents to 562c/kg and the heavy indice is on 557c/kg, up 3c.
The ESDI and national mutton indicators lifted 3 cents on Friday to 349c/kg.
Griffith trade weights lift $6-$7, heavy lambs up $9-$13
In New South Wales at the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 12,300 lambs, 3000 more than last week, and 1400 sheep, 100 fewer.
The NLRS said lamb quality improved, with more well-finished lambs offered. Heavy and extra heavy weight lambs were again well-supplied, with some off grain. The usual buyers competed in the dearer market.
Light lambs lifted $5 to $100-$113. Trade weights were $6-$7 better at $110-$138. Heavy and extra heavy weight lambs were $9-$13 dearer. Heavy lambs sold from $133-$149 and extra heavyweights made $144-$205. Carcase prices ranged from 525-554c/kg. Merino lambs sold from $110-$167.
Sheep quality was very mixed. Merino ewes sold from $84-$138. Crossbreds sold to $144 and Merino wethers made $91-$149.
Cowra’s heavy lambs lift $2-$7
At the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 6550 lambs, 1800 more than last week, and 1050 sheep, 100 more.
The NLRS said the quality of the supplementary-fed lambs was very good. There were more extra heavy lambs, although mainly trade and heavy weights were penned, along with a few store lambs. Not all buyers operated and competition was solid, resulting in a firm to dearer market, particularly for the extra heavy lambs.
Light lambs to the processors averaged $108, while store lambs averaged $101, up $10 or more. The lighter medium and heavy trade weight lambs sold firm to $4 dearer, or 540-550c/kg cwt. Most of the heavy trade weight lambs sold from $125-$137.
Heavy weight lambs sold $2-$7 dearer, or 520-567c/kg cwt. A pen of extra heavy lambs with an estimated carcase weight of 38kg sold for $203.50.
Sheep quality was mixed. Medium Merino ewes were much dearer, mainly due to quality and averaged $78 or 309c/kg. Heavy first cross ewes were $1-$5 dearer and averaged $103.50, or 315c/kg.
AuctionsPlus sheep and lamb numbers drop 4000
AuctionsPlus said sheep and numbers continue to tighten, especially in the south where this a seasonal lull in store lamb numbers, with 33,236 offered in five sales last week, a drop of 4000.
Merino wether lamb prices ranged from $46 for a line of woolly lambs at 27kg to a top of $89 for 42kg Langdene blood lambs with a November skin from southern NSW. Lambs averaged $60.50. Grown Merino wethers, including a line of eight year-olds at Barcaldine in central NSW, averaged $70 and sold to $90 for 41kg hoggets.
Tasmania Merino wethers estimated to dress 18kg sold for $50 and 18.6kg cwt ewes with a full fleece made $85 or 457c/kg including skin value to a Victorian buyer.
Merino ewe lambs sold from $75 to $80, and scanned in lamb rising two-year-olds made $120 to a top of $143 for 49kg lwt ewes joined to White Suffolk from northern Victoria. Scanned proven breeders made $86.50 to a top of $160.50 for 3-4 year-olds in lamb to White Suffolks at Kimba, South Australia. Aged scanned ewes sold from $103.50-$140.50, averaging $117.
First cross ewe lambs sold from $93-$130. Scanned in lamb first cross ewes sold from $130 to a top of $237 to average $180. The top price was for a line in South Australia; rising two year-olds weighing 63kg, March shorn and in lamb to Poll Dorset and White Suffolk rams.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus