Breeding stock met strong demand and store lambs sold firm on AuctionsPlus last week, as saleyard markets scaled down before the long weekend.
Sheep and lamb numbers rose by 8659 to 50,951 on AuctionsPlus last week. Prices were up across most categories, market operations officer Tom Rookyard said.
Mr Rookyard said sheep buyers last week showed forceful interest for breeding stock in online sales. Scanned ewes met with very keen demand and fetched healthy premium prices. Merino ewes aged 3-4 years ranged from $88.50-$208, averaging $157. The top price for the week of $208 was for a line of Poonginook blood ewes with a 2.5” skin from Narrandera in NSW, scanned in lamb to Border Leicesters. Mixed and older aged Merinos were also in demand, with 4-6-year-old ewes ranging from $70-$176, to average $113. A line of rising six-year-old Merino ewes, also scanned in lamb to Border Leicesters, made $171 on farm.
Scanned-in-lamb first cross ewes to $270
Young first cross ewes made from $176-$270, averaging $215, on AuctionsPlus last week, Mr Rookyard said. The top price of $270 was for a line of 2.5-year-old ewes at Dubbo, scanned in lamb 100 percent to Poll Dorset and White Suffolk rams, and due to lamb from March 1 for eight weeks. Young first cross ewes averaged $140, ranging from $129-$153, and ewes aged 5-6 years-old averaged $88 with a range of $80-$100, at Hawkesdale in Victoria.
Mr Rookyard said composite ewes also drew interest from buyers on AuctionsPlus. Ewe hoggets made $95.50-$201 and averaged $156. Composite ewes from Dubbo topped the sale at $201, with 2.5-year-olds scanned in lamb to Poll Dorset and White Suffolk rams. Young composite ewes ranged from $116.50-$141 and averaged $126. Older 4-5 year composites made $85-$116, averaging $98.
Store lamb prices firm on AuctionsPlus
Store lambs prices this week remained firm on AuctionsPlus last week, Mr Rookyard said. Lambs weighing 30-34kg liveweight made $80-$101, averaging $90.50 or 699c/kg carcase weight. Heavier lambs weighing 35-39kg averaged $100 or 657c/kg cwt, with the top price being a line of mixed sex second cross White Suffolk lambs weighing 36.4kg from Boorowa in NSW that sold for $110.
Cowra restocker lambs firm to $3 dearer
In NSW at the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 3060 lambs, 5770 fewer than last week, and 1520 sheep, 220 more.
The NLRS said numbers were reduced due to the long weekend coming up. It was a mixed yarding with some excellent heavy weight lambs and a fair selection of trade weights. There was also a reasonable selection of light weights to suit restockers.
Lambs to suit the restockers were firm to $3 dearer, at $56-$112. Trade lambs were firm to $3 cheaper, with 18-22kg new season lambs selling from $90-$131. Trade weight old lambs sold from $98-$133. The 22-24kg lambs were $5 cheaper, while the heavier weights were firm to $3 dearer. The 22-26kg lambs sold from $125-$164, while the extra heavy weights sold to $200.50.
The mixed quality yarding of mutton included crossbred ewes that sold $6 cheaper. The medium weight Merinos were firm, while the few heavier weights were up to $7 cheaper. The 3 and 4 score ewes sold from $70-$120 for crossbreds and to $100 for Merinos. Wethers were firm, with the better finished types selling from $92-$112.
Griffith mutton prices lift $7
At the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 7300 lambs, 1488 fewer than last week, and 2400 sheep, 762 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was fair, with a good number of finished lambs along with the few plainer types. Most of yarding was heavy and extra heavy weight lambs. The usual buyers were competed in a cheaper market.
Light lambs were $1 easier, at $92-$103. Trade weight lambs were $3-$6 easier, with prices ranging from $105-$125. Heavy and extra heavy lambs were well-supplied but slipped $5. Heavy lambs made $129-$147 and extra heavy weight lambs sold from $145-$197. Carcase prices averaged from 539-570c/kg cwt.
Mutton numbers were made up of mostly mixed quality Merinos. Prices lifted $7. Merino ewes sold from $86-$126 and crossbred ewes made $74-$115.
Shepparton lambs mostly 480-530c/kg cwt
In Victoria at the Shepparton saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 1000 lambs, 648 fewer than last week, and 700 sheep, 47 fewer.
The NLRS said the offering quality was very mixed and mostly plain. The market was cheaper, but the sale couldn’t be considered a genuine market indicator due to the limited numbers, plain quality and reduced field of meat buyers operating. The market reached a top of $146 for a pen of export lambs.
Most of the lamb yarding comprised lighter weight and plainer conditioned types that received mixed bidding support from a local processor and restockers. There were a reasonable proportion of Dorper lambs in the offering. Prices generally ranged from $48-$84. A limited selection of well-finished heavy lambs was offered, with about half a dozen pens making from $120-$146. The medium trade lambs sold from $101-$115. A lot of lambs were estimated to range from 480c/kg-530c/kg cwt.
Mutton was also cheaper, but again quality and supply were factors in the trend. A restocker paid the top price of $90 for crossbred ewes. Most slaughter ewes made from $64-$87, with very plain and lightweight ewes from $33-$50.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus