TRADE, heavy and light slaughter lamb prices continued to slide at New South Wales saleyards late last week.
However, restocker lamb rates remained firm or lifted – up to $10 at Cowra on Friday – as store buyers sought supplies.
The National Livestock Reporting Service quoted the main Eastern States Daily Indicators for trade and heavy lambs as losing further ground and chalking up big falls for the week. The other restocker, Merino and light lamb ESDIs finished on Friday either firm or improved for the day, but unchanged or lower for the week.
After Friday’s saleyard sales, the lamb ESDIs, their daily and weekly changes were: restocker 554c/kg, up 1 cents, down 6c; Merino 487c/kg, up 3c, down 21c; light 529c/kg, no change, no change; trade 534c/kg, down 2c, down 17c; heavy 529c/kg, down 6c, down 26c. The national trade lamb indicator closed down 3 cents to 532c/kg and the heavy indice finished 6 cents lower on 529c/kg.
The national and ESDI for mutton closed unchanged for the week on 312c/kg.
AuctionsPlus offering lift in hot weather
High temperatures spread across the country didn’t stop high numbers in AuctionsPlus’ eastern states sheep sales last week, with 62,683 sheep and lambs offered, up 17,526 head on last week.
High numbers of Merino ewes were offered in the three sheep sales on Tuesday and Thursday, with aged Merino ewes dominating the listings. Young first cross ewes and store lambs also presented in high numbers.
Buyers paid $153 for a line of 18-month-old unjoined Bulgandri and Ridgeway Advanced blood Merino ewes from Yerong Creek, New South Wales, with an overall average paid of $125. Some four-year-old scanned in lamb Komora Park blood Merino ewes from Narromine, NSW, were the top priced proven breeders at $158.
The top price for aged Merino ewes was $180.50 at Walgett, NSW, for five-year-old scanned in lamb Haddon Rig blood April shorn matrons.
Merino wether numbers were slightly down from last week, but the lamb listing was strong. Wether lambs averaged $66 and a tidy line of Langdene blood woolly wether lambs from Mudgee, NSW, made $82.50. The top price for Merino wethers was $106 for a line of 17-month-old Glanna blood hoggets from Gulgong, NSW, that had a solid 5cm skin.
Store lambs weighing 30-32kg lwt made $81-$96 to average $88 or 282c/kg, including skin value, and an outstanding line of first cross lambs made $101. The 33-34kg lambs made $87-$100 to average $95 or 284c/kg; 35-36kg lines sold from $91-$102 to average $95 or 269c/kg and 37-38kg lambs ranged from $98-$111.50 to average $107 or 284c/kg. Heavier lambs 39 kg-plus made $97-$113.50 to average $109 or 284c/kg.
More young first cross ewes were offered, with most being ewe lambs. The average for young ewe lambs was $100 dropping $21.50 from last week and the top price of $150 was paid for a line of 300 unjoined ewes with of 5cm skin at Trangie, NSW. The 1-2 year olds averaged $164 and the top ewe price was $185.50 for a line 16-17 month old unjoined ewes at Wellington, NSW, which had a 4cm skin.
Other featured sales this week included Cressbrook Surplus Ewe Sale on-farm interfaced online, with 1420 unjoined Merino 1.5-6.5 years selling to a top price of $105 to AuctionsPlus buyers for 500 1.5 year olds with a 4cm skin.
Griffith lambs cheaper
In New South Wales at the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 8188 lambs, 3512 fewer than last week, and 2629 sheep, 171 less.
The NLRS said lamb quality improved slightly on previous sales, with fewer plainer lambs. Most were heavy and extra heavy lambs. The usual buyers competed in a cheaper market.
Light lamb prices slipped $5 to $98-$100. Trade weights eased $2-$4 to $109-$126. Heavy and extra heavy lambs were $6-$8 easier. Heavy lambs sold from $124-$141 and extra heavies made $139-$173. Carcase prices mostly ranged from 487-530c/kg.
The mixed quality sheep were mostly Merinos. Prices eased, with Merino ewes selling from $75-$104. Crossbred ewes made $74-$90. Merino wethers sold from $100-$107.
Cowra store lambs lift $10
At the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 5350 lambs, 3650 fewer than last week, and 1650 sheep, 1750 less.
The NLRS said lamb quality was good in the heavy grades, but there were some plainer lines. Most were heavy lambs. Trade weights were in limited supply and a few stores were offered. Although all the usual buyers operated except one, competition reduced, resulting in an easier market.
Light lambs sold to processors fell $5 and averaged $95. Store lambs sold to strong competition and were up $10, averaging $94. Medium and heavy trade weights were around $7 cheaper and mostly sold from 530-545c/kg cwt. Heavy trade weights sold from $120-$130. Heavy weight lambs were $8-$10 cheaper and sold mainly from 510-530c/kg. A few pens of extra heavy weight lambs sold from $165-$170.
Sheep quality was good. Medium first cross ewes were firm and sold from $55-$65 or averaged 270c/kg. Heavy first cross ewes were $5 dearer and averaged $96.50 or 285c/kg cwt. Heavy Merino ewes sold to $101.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.