Slaughter lamb prices dip, but restocking interest positive

Sheep Central, September 14, 2015
  • These unjoined 13-14 month-old first cross ewes at Armatree, NSW, sold for $211 on AuctionsPlus last week.

    These unjoined 13-14 month-old first cross ewes at Armatree, NSW, sold for $211 on AuctionsPlus last week.

    SLAUGHTER lamb prices dipped further in saleyards on Friday, while restocker interest boosted light and Merino lamb rates.AuctionsPlus reported strong interest in breeding sheep, store lambs and wethers in online sales last week, with young unjoined first cross ewes making to $211 and ewes with lambs selling to $218.

    AuctionsPlus clears increased sheep offering

    AuctionsPlus cleared 82.5 percent of the sheep and lambs offered last week, despite a lift in the number offered of just under 20,000 to 43,205.

    Young unjoined Merino ewes continued to draw buyer interest, selling from $101-$145 and averaging $130. The top-priced line of 166 19-20 month-old Egelabra and MPM blood ewes from Molong New South Wales, weighed 55.4kg lwt and were May shorn. Aged Merino ewes also attracted attention, making $85-$138.50 and averaging $115.

    A large offering of Merino wether lambs sold from $61.50-$100, to average $81. The-top priced lot was 500 4-5 month old 43kg lwt unshorn Caroonboon blood lambs from Hay, NSW. Merino wether hoggets made from $62.50-$73.

    Processors clashed with live exporters for heavy wethers, with the mutton buyers winning out at prices of 402-418c/kg cwt, including skin value. The top-priced line of 720 3-5 year-old March shorn Old Kelvale blood Merino wethers at Bourke, weighing 62.8kg lwt and with an estimated skin value of $11 came out at a net 372c/kg cwt.

    AuctionsPlus said unjoined first cross Border Leicester/Merino ewe hoggets were hotly contested resulting in an average price of $178. The top line of 265 13-14 month-old July shorn hoggets weighing 68.3kg lwt from Armatree NSW made $211. Joined White Dorper ewes from Moulamein NSW had a large buyer audience with 125 2-3 year old ewes making $158. These were joined on July 1 with White Dorper rams for 73 days. A line of four year-old ewes made $153.

    A line of 260 three-year-old April shorn first cross ewes (60.9kg lwt) at Dadswell’s Bridge in Victoria with 328 3-8 week-old Poll Dorset lambs sold for $218.

    Store lambs this week weighing 27-29kg lwt sold from $91-$95.50 with an average of $92 or 749c/kg cwt, including skin value. The 30-32kg lines made $92.50-$95.50 with an average of $94 or 680c/kg, including skin value. The 33-35kg sold from $94-$116.50 with an average of $100 or 668c/kg.

    The heaviest lamb lines offered of 40-42kg lwt made from $104 to a top of $129 for 700 5-6 month old Border Leicester/Dohne/Merino mix sex lambs from Trangie, NSW. These unshorn March-April drop lambs weighed 41.9kg lwt.

    A line of 235 unjoined 11-12 month-old June shorn first cross ewe lambs weighing 53.6kg lwt at Trangie sold for $186.50.

    New season lamb prices fall below recent peaks

    Fewer new season lambs made better than 600c/kg on Friday, with NSW light and medium trade weight prices generally 521-614c/kg and lower at Shepparton in Victoria, from 495-581c/kg.

    At the Griffith saleyards in NSW on Friday, the 12.1-18kg cwt new season lambs with $1-$9 skins made $94-$116, or 581-687c/kg. The 18.1-22kg trade weights with $1-$10 skins sold from $112-$144, or 527-614c/kg, and the 22.1-26kg lambs with $1-$10 skins made $131-$163, or 562-592c/kg. The 26.1-30kg lambs with $9-$10 skins ranged from $159-$175, or 566-604c/kg.

    At the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the light young lambs with $5-$8 skins made $62-$114, or 439-619c/kg, and the 18.1-22kg lines with $7-$10 skins sold from $108-$138, or 521-600c/kg. The 22.1-26kg lines with $9-$11 skins made $139-$162, or 546-587c/kg, and some 26.1-30kg lambs with $11-$12 skins sold at $164-$165, or 570-574c/kg.

    At the Shepparton saleyards, the 12.1-18kg young lambs with $4-$5 skins made $65-$97, or 457-548c/kg, and the 18.1-22kg lines with $6-8 skins, sold from $105-$133, or 495-581c/kg. The 22.1-26kg lambs with $8-$10 skins made $132-$160, or 541-592c/kg, and 26.1-30kg lambs with $10 skins sold from $159-$165, or 517-532c/kg.

    NLRS lamb indicators suffer weekly falls

    After Friday’s saleyard sales, the Eastern States Daily Indicators for lamb, their daily and weekly changes are: Restocker 586c/kg, up 5 cents, down 17c; Merino 517c/kg, up 2c, down 21c; light 544c/kg, up 4c, no change; trade 573c/kg, down 2c, down 12c; heavy 570c/kg, down 3c, down 10c. The national trade lamb indicator closed on 573c/kg, down 2 cents, and the heavy indice is down 3 cents on 570c/kg.

    The ESDI for mutton closed down 2 cents to 381c/kg to remain firm for the week, and the national indicator finished down 2 cents to 378c/kg.

    Griffith‘s trade weight young lambs drop $8

    In NSW at the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 16,400 lambs, 8104 more than last week, and 2800 sheep, 1035 more.

    The NLRS said there were 12,200 new season lambs penned and quality was fair. Most were well-finished, with a few plainer drier types. The usual buyers competed, along with restockers, in a cheaper market.

    Light new season lambs sold from $108-$116. Those suitable for restockers attracted strong competition, making $96-$113. Trade weight prices slipped $8 and more in places, ranging from $112-$144. Heavy and extra heavies were $3-$4 easier, with the better lambs holding firm. Heavy lambs sold from $138-$163 and extra heavy weights made $159-$175. Carcase prices ranged from 569-585c/kg cwt.

    Old light lambs averaged $99. Trade weight lambs sold from $106-$135. Heavy weights made $134-$158 and export lambs sold from $158-$190.

    The sheep were mostly Merinos and quality was again mixed. Prices eased, with Merino ewes selling from $77-$125. Crossbred ewes sold from $80-$110.

    Cowra’s trade lambs $4-$8 cheaper

    At the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 7800 lambs, 1000 fewer than last week, and 1530 sheep, 330 more.

    The NLRS said quality was very good, particularly for the new season lambs which were in top condition. Mainly trade and heavy weights were penned, along with a handy run of store lambs. The number of old lambs was limited. All the usual buyers attended, but competition was slightly easier, resulting in an overall cheaper trend.

    Light new season lambs were $4 cheaper and averaged $108.40. Store lambs made to $91. Medium and heavy trade weight new season lambs were $4-$8 cheaper, or 560-570c/kg cwt. Most of the heavy trade weights sold from $125-$138. Heavy weight new season lambs were firm to $4 cheaper at 560-572c/kg. A few pens of extra heavy weights sold from $160-$165.

    Old trade weight lambs were firm to $1 cheaper and averaged $109. Heavy weights were $5 cheaper at $128-$144, or 524-531c/kg.

    Mutton quality was generally good. Medium Merino ewes averaged $81.30 to restockers. Heavy first cross ewes sold $6-$9 easier and averaged $103.50, or 328-354c/kg cwt.

    Shepparton young lamb rates drop $7-$10

    In Victoria at the Shepparton saleyards on Friday the agents yarded 2191 lambs, 354 more than last week.

    The NLRS said the number of young lambs increased to about 1800, with the balance of the offering comprising a mixed selection of old season lambs.

    A couple of regular buyers didn’t operate and the market was cheaper by $7-$10 across most categories of young lambs. Old season lambs were also discounted.

    The market reached a top of $165 for pen a young lambs estimated at about 30kg cwt. Export competition for the few pens of heavy young lambs weighing 26-30kg cwt was subdued, at $159-$165, or an average of around 520c/kg cwt. Most of the lead pens of young lambs were trade weights which sold from $132-$156, or 560-590c/kg, based on $8-$10 skin values. Pens of lighter weight young lambs, 16-20kg, mostly sold from $91-$109, with only limited restocker interest.

    The selection of old season lambs was very mixed and mostly of a plain standard as final drafts are sold. A few pens of heavier lambs sold from $136-$152. However, the general run of trade weight types sold from $95-$120, with most carcase averages tracking below 480c/kg. Some of the lowest carcase rates were for odd lots of just a few head.

    Heavy crossbred ewes showed a weaker trend at $85-$100. The most notable sale was a line of recently shorn Merino wethers, estimated about 28kg cwt, which sold for $110, or around 390c/kg cwt.

    Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.


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