LAMB prices were firm to slightly easier in saleyards late last week, as online sheep and lamb offerings almost halved.
The lamb offerings jumped 30-50 percent at Cowra and Griffith on Friday, in the centres’ last sales before Easter.
Light slaughter lambs, 12-18kg cwt, with skins valued at up to $16, sold for $55-$113, or 319-678c/kg cwt, at Cowra and Griffith on Friday, with the top c/kg rates paid by restockers.
The 18.1-22kg trade lambs with skins value at up to $18 (Merino), sold for $96-$127, or 382-550c/kg. Heavier trade lambs, 22.1-24kg, with $6-$18 skins, made $114-$135, or 426-548c/kg.
Heavy lamb prices suffered the most on Friday, falling $3-$5 at the two selling centres, with 24.1-26kg lambs with skins valued at up to $20 (Merino) making $127-$146, or 442-558c/kg. The 26.1kg+ lambs with $8-$20 skins sold from $129-$184, or 437-522c/kg.
NLRS lamb indicators mostly lower
After Friday’s saleyard sales, the National Livestock Reporting Service’s Eastern State Daily Indicators for lambs were mostly lower, but the main slaughter and restocker categories nevertheless finished with good weekly rises.
The NLRS ESDIs for lamb, their daily and weekly changes were: restocker 528c/kg, up 5 cents, up 9c; Merino 472c/kg, down 1c, up 1c; light 499c/kg, no change, down 1c; trade 521c/kg, down 1c, up 21c; heavy 512c/kg, down 3c, up 10c. The national trade lamb indicator finished the week down 1 cent on 520c/kg and the heavy indice closed down 3 cents to 511c/kg.
The ESDI for mutton finished 2 cents down to 285c/kg and the national mutton indicator closed down 2 cents to 284c/kg.
AuctionsPlus sheep and listings fall 43pc
AuctionsPlus sheep and lamb listings dropped by 35,224 to 47,391 head last week, in two sales on Tuesday and a Thursday sale.
The listings were dominated by Merino ewes and good drafts of Merino wether lambs.
Young Merino ewes averaged $109 and made up to $153 for 332 22-24 month old mid-July shorn ewes at Yerong Creek, New South Wales. The young ewes weighed 58.8kg lwt, were mostly score 2 and 3, and all scanned in lamb to Border Leicester rams.
Proven breeders were not short in supply last week. A line of 325 2.5-4.5 year old Greenfields and East Bungaree blood early November shorn Merino ewes from Burra, South Australia made $155. The ewes weighed 66.9kg lwt, were mostly score 2 and scanned in lamb to White Suffolk Rams.
Aged Merino ewes made an average price of $95 and were supported by high numbers throughout last week’s sales. The top price again hailed from South Australia – Booborowie – where 330 7-8 year-old mid-January shorn Collinsville blood Merino ewes made $118. The ewes weighed 62.2kg lwt, were mostly score 2 and 3, and all scanned in lamb to White Suffolk rams for Spring/Summer drop lamb.
The good numbers of Merino lambs offered online last week averaged $72 and sold to a top price of $85 for 260 April-May crop wethers from Hay in NSW. The late November shorn Wood Park blood lambs weighed 17.1kg cwt and were mostly score 1. Another line of 350 July-August drop Merino lambs from the same property, 15.8kg cwt and early December shorn, sold for $80. A line 19-20 month old mid-November shorn Leachim and Centreplus blood Merino wether hoggets, 16.1kg cwt and mostly score 2, from Kingscote, South Australia made $76.50.
Crossbred lambs to $11o on AuctionsPlus
Crossbred lambs weighing under 30kg lwt offered on AuctionsPlus sold from $50-$80.50 to average $70.50 or 275c/kg cwt including skin value. The 30-32kg lambs made $74-$96.50 to average $84 or 258c/kg, 34-36kg lines ranged from $70-$107 to average $87 or 244c/kg, and the 37-39kg lambs sold from $77.50-$108.50 to average $94.50 or 250c/kg. Heavy lambs over 40kg lwt sold from $88.50-$110 to average $102 or 245c/kg. The top crossbred lamb price of $110 was paid for 356 late March shorn August drop Poll Dorset cross lambs, 18.2kg cwt and mostly score 2, at Millthorpe in NSW.
First cross ewe lambs were also short in supply online this week, but strong prices made up for the lesser number. The top price for this category was $140.50 for 290 July-August crop early December shorn ewe lambs at Wakool, NSW. The lambs weighed 39.3kg lwt and were mostly score 2. At Nyngan, 200 July-August drop mid-December shorn first cross ewe lambs, 44.1kg cwt and mostly score 2, sold for $120.
Young composite-Merino ewes sold to $161 for a line of 80 2.5 year-olds at Yatchaw, Victoria. The early February shorn ewes weighed 59.5kg lwt, were mostly score 3 and station mated to Poll Dorset rams. The 66 seconds made $141. The 138 1.5 year-olds in the flock dispersal sold for $159, with 125 seconds making $110. The first line of 84 3.5 year-olds sold for $152 and 142 seconds made $138.
There was a good offering of first cross breeders from southern states on AuctionsPlus, including a line of 90 mid-March shorn 4.5 year-olds at Lake Cargelligo, NSW, that sold for $149. The ewes weighed 82.8kg lwt, were mostly score 5 and scanned 124pc in lamb to White Suffolk rams.
Four lines of first cross ewes scanned in lamb to White Suffolk rams at Carranballac in Victoria sold to $147 and averaged $120. The 237 top-priced four year-old ewes weighed 69.3kg lwt and were mostly score 3. A line of 180 5-6 year-olds sold for $122, 251 5-7 year-olds made $100 and 90 7-8 year-old ewes sold for $100. All were mid-November shorn and scanned in lamb to White Suffolk rams.
Cowra lambs firm to slightly cheaper
In New South Wales at the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 10,215 lambs, 5005 more than last week, and 650 sheep, 60 fewer.
The NLRS said lamb quality was very good, particularly in the heavy lambs which had plenty of weight and condition. Mainly heavy lambs were penned, trade weights were limited in supply and there was a reasonable run of stores. All the usual buyers operating and competition was a little easier resulting in a firm to slightly cheaper trend.
Light lambs sold well to average $94, while store lambs mostly made $86-$99. Medium and heavy trade weights were firm and averaged 498c/kg cwt. Most of the heavy trade weights averaged around $115. Heavy weight lambs were firm to $4 cheaper and ranged from 480-500c/kg. Quite a few pens of extra heavy weight lambs sold from $160-$178.
Sheep quality was quite good and medium Merino ewes averaged $79 or 280c/kg cwt. Heavy first cross ewes mainly sold from $79-$85 or around 295c/kg.
Griffith’s heavy lambs fall $3-$5
At the Griffith saleyards, the agents yarded 10,245 lambs, 3745 more than last week, and 2022 sheep, 22 more.
The NLRS said heavy and extra heavy lambs were well-supplied and quality was very good. Most came off feeders. Trade and store lambs were in short supply. There were several good pens of Merino lambs with plenty of weight. Not all the usual buyers operated in a cheaper heavy lamb market.
Restocking lambs ranged from $74-$114.50. Trade lambs were limited and sold to unchanged prices. The medium and heavy trade weights sold from $100-$129, or mainly 480-510c/kg cwt. Heavy and extra heavy lambs were $3-$5 easier, with heavy weights selling from $122-$146 and extra heavy lambs up to $184. Prices mostly ranged from 480-490c/kg. Merino trade lambs started at $114 and heavy lambs sold to $141.
Sheep quality was mixed. Prices were cheaper with a few buyers not operating. Medium weights sold from $58-$79 and heavy crossbred ewes made $100-$111. Most ranged from 260-280c/kg.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.