Slaughter lamb prices improve as rain limits saleyard offerings

Sheep Central, November 8, 2015
These April-May drop mid-September shorn Merino lambs, 16.1kg cwt and mostly score 2 and 3, sold for $94 at Burra in South Australia on AuctionsPlus last week.

These April-May drop mid-September shorn Merino lambs, 16.1kg cwt and mostly score 2 and 3, sold for $94 at Burra in South Australia on AuctionsPlus last week.

SLAUGHTER lamb prices generally held firm to dearer in saleyards last Friday, as recent rain limited yardings at Cowra and Griffith in New South Wales and at Shepparton in Victoria.

Demand was strong for store lambs among restockers, who paid $87-$111 at Cowra and $90-$110 at Griffith.

Local restockers also paid to $106 for store lambs at Shepparton, though most young lambs going back to the paddock made $85-$96.

Light lambs 12.1-18kg cwt with $1-$9 skins made $79-$110 in NSW, or 450-618c/kg. In Victoria, similar weight lambs with skins valued at up to $6 made $65-$96, or 432-560c/kg.

Light and medium trade lambs with $1-$9 skins sold from $109-$128, or 532-566c/kg at Cowra, and at Griffith 20-24 kg lambs with $1-$19 skins made from $113-$135, or 509-$525c/kg. Medium to heavy weight lambs at Cowra with $2-$10 skins, sold from $126-$150, or 488-557c/kg.

NLRS indicators move little

After Friday’s saleyard sales, the National Livestock Reporting Service’s Eastern States Daily Indicators for lambs, their daily and weekly changes, were: restocker 519c/kg, down 2 cents, down 19c; Merino 455c/kg, down 2c, up 12c; light 483c/kg, down 1c, up 1c; trade 511, no change, up 9c; heavy 502c/kg, up 1c, up 3c. The national trade lamb indicator lost 1 cents to 511c/kg and the heavy indice was up 1 cent to 503c/kg.

The ESDI for mutton was firm on 333c/kg on Friday, gaining 6 cents for the week, and the national indicator gained 1 cents to close on 331c/kg for the week.

AuctionsPlus offering boosted by store lambs

On AuctionsPlus last week, 42,000 sheep and lambs were offered, with store lambs making up the majority of the offering, bolstered by Thursday’s Spring Lamb sale.

The 26-29kg lwt lambs made $75-$78, 30-32kg lambs sold from $79-$96 and 33-34kg lines ranged from $78.50-$101. The top price was for 33kg second cross Poll Dorsets at Young in New South Wales.

The 35-36kg lambs sold from $84-$95, 37-38kg lines made $78-$105 with the top for second cross lambs in Victoria, and 39-41kg lambs made $89.50-$109. The heaviest lambs were 43-44 kg and sold for $100-$117.50, with second cross Poll Dorsets July/August drop Poll Dorset cross lambs weighing 44kg at Crookwell topping the category.

Merino wether lambs were also plentiful online last week and many are still selling as unshorn. Prices this week ranged from $46-$94 and averaged $71. The top price was for Barton Hill blood, September shorn lambs out of Burra, South Australia weighing 42kg.

Young unjoined Merino ewes made $64-$130, and older ewes sold from $106.50-$129. First cross ewe lambs made $93- $155, and 13-14 month-old September shorn hoggets weighing 64kg lwt made $180 at Corowa, NSW.

Cowra’s medium and heavy trade lambs $3 dearer

In New South Wales at the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 8720 lambs, 3430 fewer than last week, and 2020 sheep, 770 more.

The NLRS said quality of the well-finished trade and heavy lambs was good. Mainly trade weights were penned, along with a reasonable number of heavy lambs and a good supply of stores. All the buyers were present except for one and competition was solid, resulting in a firm to dearer market.

Store lambs sold to strong competition to be $3-$9 dearer at $87-$111. Medium and heavy trade weight new season lambs were firm to $3 dearer at 535-545c/kg cwt. Most of the better heavy trade weights sold from $119-$128. Heavy weight new season lambs were $2-$4 dearer at 520-525c/kg. A couple of pens of extra heavy new season lambs that sold for $150 had an estimated carcase weight of 27kg.

Mutton quality improved, with some runs of good conditioned sheep. Medium weight Merino ewes were $5 dearer and averaged $77 or 309c/kg cwt. Heavy first cross ewes were $9 dearer and sold from $86-$97 or 300c/kg. Heavy wethers averaged $90.70.

Griffith numbers down after rain

At the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 1000 lambs, 5600 fewer than last week, and 1140 sheep, 1760 less.

The NLRS said lamb and sheep numbers declined after widespread rain in the drawing area. There were 700 mixed quality new season lambs. Prices remained fairly steady. New season lambs sold to restockers for $90-$110. Trade and heavy lambs made $113-$135. Old trade lambs sold from $111-$120 and heavy weights made $120-$136.

Mutton quality was mixed. Merino ewes sold from $79-$90. Crossbred ewes made $60-$100. Dorper ewes sold from $74-$81.

Shepparton trade lambs $4 dearer

At the Shepparton saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 3000 lambs, 1350 fewer than last week, and 1200 sheep, 100 more.

The NLRS said agents reported some lines of lambs were not yarded after 40-60mm of rain in the area. Quality remained mixed, although there were some drafts of better conditioned young lambs sent in from the Mansfield hill grazing regions. The usual buyers attended, but the limited offering of good quality slaughter lambs kept some processors fairly quiet.

Prices for the better quality domestic slaughter lambs were mostly firm to $4 dearer. The market reached a top of $136 for heavy young lambs estimated at around 26kg cwt. The supply of heavy young lambs remained limited and only four pens made above $130-$136. The better quality drafts of trade weight young lambs, 22-24kg cwt, sold from $120-$131 and averaged $125 or an estimated 485c/kg, with select pens making to 500c/kg. Domestic lambs in the 20-22kg cwt range mostly sold from $107-$116 and were also estimated at 480c/kg. Local restockers paid to $106 for store lambs, with most young lambs going back to the paddock at $85-$96.

Sheep sold up to $10 dearer. Heavy ewes sold for $80-$94, while lighter and trade ewes mostly made $55-$76. The good lines of mutton were estimated at 310-320c/kg cwt.

Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.


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