SLAUGHTER lamb prices continued to slip late last Friday, with the arrival of new season lambs coinciding with eastern states carcase weight indicators falling 21-33 cents/kg for the main light, trade and heavy categories during the week.
In New South Wales, at Cowra and Griffith, new season lambs over 18.1kg cwt made at 557-619c/kg cwt.
At Cowra, 1300 new season lambs were yarded, with the 18.1-22kg cwt lines with $9-$10 skins making 124-$145, or 581-619c/kg. The 22.1-24kg suckers with $9-$10 skins sold for $147-$154 or 600c/kg.
At Griffith, 20.1-22kg suckers with $10 skins sold for $127-$135, or 557-568c/kg.
NLRS lamb indicators slip
After Friday’s saleyard sales, the National Livestock Reporting Service’s Eastern Market Indicators reflected the lack of interest in restocker lambs over the past week, and the general fall in slaughter lamb rates.
The ESDI lamb rates, with daily and weekly changes, are: restocker 494c/kg, up 2 cents, down 53c; Merino 536c/kg, down 2c, down 7c; light 543c/kg, down 3c, down 21c; trade 576c/kg, down 2c, down 21c; heavy 570c/kg, down 3c, down 33c. The national trade lamb indicator is at 576c/kg, down 1 cent, and the heavy indice closed on 569c/kg, down 3 cents.
The ESDI for mutton closed firm on Friday at 392c/kg, but lost 6 cents during the week, and the national indice is also on 392c/kg, up 1 cent.
Breeders and ewe-lamb units sell well on AuctionsPlus
Proven breeders and ewes with lambs drew premium prices on AuctionsPlus last week as producers sought to shore up flock numbers, market operations officer Harriet Forster said. Sheep and lamb numbers increased slightly to 30,926.
First cross ewes made a top price of $200 for an offering of 360 two-year-old ewes from Dalgety, NSW, which were scanned 183pc in lamb to Poll Dorset rams. A line of 173 rising four-year-old first cross ewes at Inverleigh, in south-west Victoria with 323 marked 3-9 week-old White Suffolk lambs made an outstanding $276, Ms Forster said.
Unjoined Merino ewe hoggets from Hay that sold for $170 were the stand-out offering among the Merino breeders this week. A large offering of scanned proven Merino breeders averaged $99, with the top price of $146 being paid for a line of 280 four-year-old Yanko blood ewes from Barham NSW SIL 100pc to Poll Dorset rams.
Aged scanned Merino ewes made $60-$96 to average $80. Unjoined Barton Hill blood Merino ewes from South Australia with White Suffolk lambs at foot sold for $164.
Merino wether numbers dropped on AuctionsPlus last week with 7-9 month old lambs from Brewarrina, with a 7.5cm skin making $91.50. A line 44kg lwt Alma and Bluebush blood wether hoggets, made $86 and older Dunblane blood wethers sold for $67.
Lines of 26-28kg lwt first cross lambs made $79-$86 and 26.4kg White Dorper lambs sold to $73.50.
Top price among the new season lambs offered on AuctionsPlus last week was $89 for a line of 2-4 month-old first cross suckers weighing 32kg. Lighter second cross mixed-sex suckers made $75. First cross Texel and Merino mixed sex 9-10 month-old 19.2kg cwt lambs at Bombala sold to a processor for 583c/kg cwt or $112.
Cowra lambs $1-$3 cheaper
In New South Wales at the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 5000 lambs, 1050 fewer than last week, and 1870 sheep, 770 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was generally good. Agents yarded 1300 new season lambs in good condition and the older grades were well-presented, but there were a few secondary lines. Mainly heavy and trade weights were penned and store lambs were limited. All the buyers were operating and competition was easier across all grades.
Light lambs to the processors averaged $106. New season lambs were a couple of dollars cheaper and sold from $131-$154 or 600c/kg cwt. Medium and heavy trade weight lambs were $1-$3 cheaper and averaged 560c/kg cwt. Most of the better heavy trade weight lambs sold from $126-$135. Heavy weight lambs were close to firm for those weighing 24kg cwt and the extra heavies were around $10 cheaper, at 540-560c/kg cwt.
Mutton quality was reasonable. Medium Merino ewes sold firm and averaged $91 for the 3 scores, or 372c/kg cwt. Heavy crossbred ewes were $2 cheaper and averaged $121.
Griffith trade lambs lift $4
At the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 5200 lambs, 4700 fewer than last week, and 2875 sheep, 725 less.
The NLRS said it was a reasonable quality yarding, with a good mix of trade and heavy weight lambs, plus a fair selection of lighter weights. All the usual buyers operated.
Light weight lambs sold firm to $3 dearer with the 12-18kg cwt 2 scores making $58-$109. Trade weight lambs were $4 dearer, with the 18-22kg 3 scores selling from $98-$149. Trade weight new season lambs sold from $127-$135. Heavy weight lambs were $6 cheaper, with the over 22kg 4 scores making $138-$183. Merino lambs were $4 cheaper, with the trade weights ranging from $100-$139. The heavier weights sold to $146. Hoggets sold to $134.
It was a pretty good quality yarding of mutton, with some good lines of Merinos and crossbreds. Light weight ewes sold $3 cheaper, while the better medium and heavier weights were $2-$4 dearer. The 2 score ewes sold from $48-$90 and the better Merino heavier weights made $84-$140 and the crossbreds sold to $136.
Shepparton lamb prices firm
In Victoria at the Shepparton saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 1200 lambs, 316 more than last week, and 800 sheep, 302 more.
The NLRS said an extra exporter operated on the mainly mixed quality yarding.
Prices were generally unchanged for the penning of light to heavy trade weight lambs. The yarding included two large lines of very good quality extra heavy weight, 28-30kg cwt lambs, which sold for $173.50 and $189. The light weight 2 score lambs sold from $73-$89, and the 2 and 3 score light trade weights made $78-$105. The medium to heavy weight 3 score trade lambs sold from $110-$136 and the heavy 4 score export lambs made $130-$154, or 530-570c/kg cwt. The very good quality extra heavy weights made 540-590c/kg.
Prices were slightly dearer for the sheep offering, which was mainly medium to extra heavy weight ewes. The medium weight 2 and 3 score ewe sheep sold from $75-$100 and the 3 and 4 score heavy weights made $90-$130. The 2 to 4 score ewe mutton averaged 365c/kg cwt to processors. The few 1 score heavy weight rams sold from $35-$55 and the 2 scores made $60-$70.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.