Slaughter lamb prices falter while restocking interest grows

Sheep Central, October 4, 2015
These young first cross ewes with Poll Dorset lambs sold for $251 at Boorowa, NSW, on AuctionsPlus last week.

These young first cross ewes with Poll Dorset lambs sold for $251 at Boorowa, NSW, on AuctionsPlus last week.

TRADE and heavy lamb prices slipped further in saleyards late last week, but online demand was strong for future breeding stock on AuctionsPlus.

New season trade weight lambs sold $7-$15 cheaper in NSW saleyards on Friday, and heavy lambs were $10-$13 easier in Griffith. Trade and heavy weight lambs finished the week making less than 550c/kg.

The strength of restocker demand was reflected in light lamb prices, with only 12.1-18kg cwt lines made better than 600c/kg at times in saleyards on Friday.

After Friday’s markets, the National Livestock Reporting Service quoted its Eastern States Daily Indicators for restocker, Merino and light lambs as generally, only losing from 1-2 cents, to post a small loss or gains for the week, in comparison to the faltering slaughter indicators.

The NLRS ESDI lamb indicators, their daily and weekly movements on Friday were: restocker 563c/kg, down 2 cents, down 4c; Merino 471c/kg, down 1c, up 31c; light 503c/kg, down 2c, up 14c; trade 517c/kg, down 7c, down 5c; heavy 499c/kg, down 8c, down 20c. The national trade lamb indicator closed down 8 cents on 514c/kg and the heavy indice was also 8 cents lower on 98c/kg.

The ESDI for mutton finished the week on 326c/kg, down 4 cents for the day and 18 cents over the week. The national mutton indicator closed 5 cents lower on Friday on 326c/kg.

First cross ewes with lambs to $251 on AuctionsPlus

Sheep and lamb numbers rose to 60,901 on AuctionsPlus last week as young Merino breeders hit the online market.

Prices ranged from $52.50-$157 for young Merino ewes, averaging $122, up $7 on last week. The top-priced lot were unjoined 12-13 month-old Centre Plus and Kambah blood ewe hoggets with a 4.5cm skin from Wallandbeen, NSW. A small offering of aged and proven Merino breeders sold from $40.50-$110 to average $78, down $4 on last week.

Merino wether lambs sold from $59-$94, to average $76. The top-priced mob were 41kg lwt Kiandra and Calowie blood lambs with a 4cm skin from Bordertown, South Australia.

First cross ewe hoggets made from $148.50 to a top price of $181 for 60kg 13-14 month-old unjoined hoggets from Nyngan, NSW. Ewes with lambs attracted buyer interest, with 215 13-15 month old early September shorn first cross ewes with 228 1-3 month-old Poll Dorset lambs at Boorowa, NSW, making $251. Mixed age White Dorper cross ewes with White Dorper lambs at Mannum, SA, made $115.

Store crossbred lambs weighing 30-32kg lwt made $90-$93.50 to average $91.75 or 678c/kg cwt, including skin value. Lambs weighing 33-35kg sold from $86.50-$98.50, to average $91 or 611c/kg. The top priced lot were 33kg 3-4 month-old Poll Dorset cross mixed sex suckers with a 2cm skin at Orange, NSW. Lambs weighing 37-40kg made $91-$94.5, to average $93 or 564c/kg. The heaviest lambs offered in the 41-44kg range made $95.50-$107, with an average of $101.25 or 565c/kg.

Cowra trade and heavy lambs cheaper

In New South Wales at the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 8280 lambs, 2080 more than last week, and 1070 sheep, 420 more.

The NLRS said mainly new season lambs were penned and quality was good for the heavy grades. Mostly trade and heavy weight lambs were offered, plus a few plainer lines. There were more store lambs, but fewer old grades. All the usual buyers operated except one and competition was weaker, resulting in a cheaper market.

Light lambs to the processors averaged $100 and stores ranged from $83-$103. Medium and heavy trade weight new seasons sold $7-$12 cheaper at 500-510c/kg cwt. Most of the heavy trade weights sold from $115-$121. Heavy weight new season lambs were $10-$13 at 480-490c/kg. A few pens of extra heavy weights sold from $133-$140.

Sheep quality was generally good. Medium Merino ewes were down $17 and averaged 275c/kg cwt, or $67. Heavy first cross ewes were $9 cheaper and averaged $86, or 277c/kg. Young Merino ewes sold to local restockers for $81.

Griffith trade lambs slip $12-$15

At the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 8650 lambs, 1700 fewer than last week, and 2450 sheep, 1650 less.

The NLRS said 7200 new season lambs were penned and quality was very mixed. There were some good lines of well-finished lambs, along with the plainer, drier types. The usual buyers competed in a cheaper market. New season lambs to restockers sold from $90-$109. Light lambs slipped $12 to average $95. Trade weights sold $12-$15 easier at $107-$126. Heavy lamb prices also dropped significantly to $118-$136. Carcase prices ranged from 481-505c/kg cwt.

Old trade weight lambs sold from $94-$108. Heavy lambs made $115-$127 and extra heavyweights sold to $146.

The sheep were mostly mixed quality Merinos. Prices slipped $6-$8. Merino ewes sold from $70-$100. Crossbreds averaged $76 and Dorper ewes $65.

Sources: NLRS, AuctionsPlus.


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 -