Sheep prices generally firm across Australia

Terry Sim August 15, 2014

sheep - wethers - shornSheep prices generally firm across Australia

Lamb prices continued to slide in most markets across Australia mid-week as buyers with increasing supplies around them picked through old lambs and more new season lines.

Only at Hamilton did rates lift $10-$20 to regain ground from last week, while extra heavy lambs at Wagga suffered the biggest price drop of of a centre of $26 to around 437c/kg cwt.

Mutton prices were generally steady, though any rate movement was invariably downward in some saleyards, unless buyers could buy weight without fat or restockers were active.

The National Livestock Reporting Service said the Eastern States Trade Lamb Index finished on Thursday at 477c/kg, down 15 cents; the heavy lamb index was down 20 cents to 482c/kg and the mutton index was steady at 331c/kg, down just two cents.


Sheep firm to slightly cheaper at CTLX

In New South Wales at Carcoar’s CTLX centre on Wednesday, agents yarded 3260 lambs, down 894, and 1250 sheep, down 600, into a cheaper market. Good runs of heavy weight lambs were penned, but the trade and lighter weights were plainer.

A limited yarding of new season lambs sold from $95-$123 or around 469c/kg-479c/kg cwt. Light weight older lambs made $30-$84 and the Merino portion sold cheaper. Trade weights lost $8 to sell from $80-$104 or around 419c/kg-420c/kg cwt. Heavy weight lambs slipped $3-$7, from $108 to up to $156 for some 35kg cwt lambs. These categories averaged 429c/kg-475c/kg cwt.

Most categories of sheep slipped $1-$2 or remained firm. The medium and heavy weights sold from $48-$91, with 2-4 score sheep averaging around 237c/kg-291c/kg cwt.

Buyers were discerning at Goulburn for a yarding of 1000 lambs on Wednesday, though a new buyer lifted the rates for the 800 sheep.

Prices eased $5-$10 for the heavy trade and heavy weight lambs, but lifted $3-$6 for light trade and light processing types. Trade weight new season lambs made $108-$112 or 508c/kg cwt. Light processing old lambs weighing 16kg to 18kg, including Merinos, made $60-$82. Trade weights made $84-$110, with some heavy and extra heavy weights making $130. Most slaughter lambs averaged 430c-475c/kg cwt.

Well-finished trade weight sheep met strong demand from an extra buyer to produce a dearer trend of around $5-$10 on the better sheep. Medium and heavy ewes made $60-$88, with medium weight Merino wethers ranging from $65-$78. Very heavy crossbred wethers reached $109. Most mutton made from 270c/kg-320c/kg cwt.

All lamb grades discounted heavily at Wagga Wagga

At Wagga on Thursday, agents yarded 30,000 lambs, up 4300, and 8000 sheep, 100 more.

NLRS said all grades among the 7850 new season lambs and old plainer dry-woolled lambs were heavily discounted. Dry longer-wool lambs were once again well supplied and all grades were discounted heavily.

More of the new season lambs weighed above 26kg cwt with buyers working on skin values of $8- $9/head. The dry-woolled old lambs and even well-finished second cross lambs with shorter skins and grain fed sold to weaker demand, with many trade lambs averaging 400c/kg-429/kg cwt.

Bidding was strongest for new season heavy and extra heavy lambs, with prices ranging from $122 -$137 and extra heavy lambs averaging 448c/kg cwt.

Trade weight new season lambs were $12 to $14 cheaper, with major domestic buyers avoiding over conditioned pens. Medium and heavy trade lambs averaged 480c/kg-516c/kg cwt.

Better-finished Merino lambs suitable for the trade made from $70-$115.20, with one pen of extra heavy Merino lamb making $129.

Heavy and extra heavy old lambs weighing 24kg-26kg sold $17 lower, while extra heavy lambs were up to $26 cheaper, averaging 437c/kg cwt. Well-finished extra heavy lambs made $130-$152.

Heavy ewes sold $3-$5 dearer, averaging 290c/kg-321c/kg cwt. Trade weight sheep prices eased $3-$6 to $68-$85. Restockers paid $134-$145 for younger crossbred ewes in lamb to turn out.


Hamilton lamb prices regain lost ground

In Victoria at Hamilton on Wednesday, agents yarded 1829 lambs, 863 more, and 229 sheep, 23 fewer.

NLRS said lamb quality was mostly plain, but prices regained their losses of last week to be $10-$20 dearer.

Light weight 2 score lambs sold from $48-$79, light trade weight 2 and 3 scores made $74-$85 and medium to heavy weight 3 score trade weight lambs ranged from $81-$98 or around 440c/kg cwt. Heavy 4 score export lambs made $102-$110, with a pen of extra heavy weights at $120 with most around 420c/kg cwt.

Sheep sold to weaker demand and eased a further $10 for the mixed weight and condition offering. Most made $50-$85, with carcase weight costs estimated at 240c/kg-285c/kg cwt for most. Heavy weight rams sold to weak demand, from $30-$38.


Horsham new season lambs sell to $121

At Horsham on Wednesday, agents yarded 2097lambs, 976 more, and 3212 sheep, 1269 more.

NLRS said lamb prices were generally easier but the quality was not as good as the previous week. The 200 young lambs offered made to $121, to average around 510c/kg cwt. Restockers paid to $47.50 for lambs, to $70 for Merino wethers and $29.50-$32 for light Merino ewes.

Light weight 1 and 2 score lambs sold from $60-$80 and light trade 2 and 3 scores from $73-$102. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $93-$106, with sales to $115 at 420c/kg-480c/kg cwt, to average around 450c/kg cwt. Heavy 4 score lambs sold from $124-$128.

More heavy Merino sheep were penned. Heavy wethers sold to $98 and ewes to $91, with most heavy sheep a few dollars dearer than last week.

Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $40-$69.50 and medium weight 2 and 3 scores sold from $48-$77 to range from 250c/kg-330c/kg or around 310c/kg cwt. Heavy 3 to 5 score sheep made $73-$96. Heavy Merino wethers sold from $72-$98, with medium weights making between $54-$76 or around 310c/kg cwt. Rams of all weights sold from $29-$53.


Live exporters pay $97.50 for wether lambs at Katanning

In Western Australia at Katanning on Wednesday, agents yarded 4088 lambs, 22 more, and 7150 sheep, 1269 more.

NLRS said despite the better quality of the yarding, new season lambs were $5 cheaper. The 18kg-22kg 3 score new season lambs sold from $80-$126.

Old lambs were $3-$5 cheaper, with 18kg-22kg trade weights selling from $75-$117.50/head. Lightweight lambs were $5-$7 cheaper, with 12kg-18kg 2 score crossbreds selling from $37-$79, while Merinos sold from $40 to $78/head. Lightweight lambs to the restockers sold at similar prices, with crossbreds selling between $20.50-$75.50 and Merinos making $20-$75.50. Live exporters paid $70-$97.50 for wether lambs.

Plainer conditioned lightweight ewes were firm in price, assisted by good restocker interest, but better medium and heavy weight ewes were up to $10 cheaper. The 1 and 2 score ewes sold from $20-$67.50 to processors and $70 to restockers. The 3 and 4 score ewes to processors made between $60-$81.50 for Merinos and $79.50 for crossbreds.

Wethers were also cheaper, with 2 scores making $40-$77, while the better medium and heavy weights sold from $70-$108. Live exporters paid $70-$96 for wethers. Merino rams sold to $30 and white Dorpers made to $50.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Sheep Central's news headlines emailed to you -