PRICES for quality trade and heavy export lamb prices were firm to dearer in saleyards mid-week, despite some domestic buyers not operating at New South Wales centres.
With quality waning in NSW saleyards, trade and export buyers are focussing on the flush of lambs in southern markets, especially Hamilton and Mt Gambier mid-week.
Prices lifted with the quality at these markets despite agents yarding more than 54,000 lambs at Hamilton on Wednesday and Mt Gambier agents lifting their lamb offering by almost 5000 to more than 14,000.
Heavy lambs at Hamilton sold $8-$12 dearer, while medium trade lambs were up $6-$11. Better and light lambs remained firm and up to $3-$5 dearer at times. Lamb prices lifted $5-$8 at Mt Gambier.
Restocking competition remains strong at most centres.
NLRS indicators steady for all but Merino lambs
After Thursday’s saleyards sales, the National Livestock Reporting Services Eastern States Daily Indicators for lamb were: restocker 548c/kg, down 3 cents; Merino 464c/kg, down 14c; light 511c/kg, down 1; trade 517c/kg, no change; heavy 522c/kg, no change. The national trade lamb indicator was unchanged at 517c/kg and the heavy indice lost 1 cents to 522c/kg.
The ESDI for mutton finished on 331c/kg, down 2 cents, and the national mutton indicator closed down 3 cents to 330c/kg.
Carcoar’s heavy lambs sell to $164
In New South Wales at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange on Wednesday, the agents yarded 10,400 lambs, 200 more than last week, and 4600 sheep, 1700 more.
The NLRS said i was a very good yarding of mostly well-finished young lambs. Light 2 score lambs sold from $75-$98. Trade weight new season lambs sold from $80-$135. A single pen of new season heavy lambs reached $164. Extra heavy weight old lambs sold from $133-$156.
It was a good quality yarding of mutton with most going to processors. The prime conditioned crossbred ewes and wethers sold up to $15 cheaper at $72-$100 and long woolled Merino wethers made $125.
Wagga fails to get full buyer domestic support
At the Wagga Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 25,000 lambs, and 10,000 sheep, 1000 fewer than last week.
The NLRS said lamb quality was only fair, with a large percentage of the offering being secondary young lambs. The usual buyers attended, but not all major domestic processors operated.
Well-bred second cross store lambs were well supplied and restockers were active over all weights. Store orders came from Albury, Cootamundra, Forbes, Dubbo, Corowa, Finley and the local area.
New season trade lambs were in limited supply and sold to steady competition throughout the sale. Prices for well-finished medium and heavy trade lambs were unchanged. The better finished lambs made from $120-$144, or mostly from 540-550c/kg cwt. Shorn heavy trade lambs averaged 550c/kg. Light trade lambs prices eased $1 to average $113.90. Immature lambs sold up to $4 cheaper due to their plainer condition. Well-bred second cross lambs returning to the paddock were unchanged at $90-$110. Feedlot buyers paid from $100-$114.
Heavy and extra heavy export lambs were in limited numbers and sold to solid competition, with the shorn portion igniting the bidding and selling from $144-$165.20. Heavy new season lambs in full wool made from $144-$165 to average 495c/kg cwt.
Heavy crossbred ewes sold to strong competition, while light and medium weight grades were mostly unchanged. Trade sheep were well-supplied, selling from $67-$100 to average 308c/kg cwt. Heavy crossbred ewes sold $8 dearer, while heavy Merino ewes were firm to $3 dearer, mostly making 285-320c/kg cwt.
Hamilton’s heavy lambs up $8-$12
In Victoria at the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 54,310 lambs, 8596 more than last week.
The NLRS said agents yarded a near-capacity number of lambs at the Hamilton selling centre as the district enters the peak of the turn off. All the regular seasonal buyers plus an extra northern domestic and export buyer operated keenly, with extra store buyers also after numbers to fill orders. It was another very good quality yarding, with all weights and grades represented.
Lines of better condition lambs ideal for slaughter showed stronger demand than the lambs that showed some dryness in an overall dearer sale. Heavy lambs sold $8-$12 dearer, while medium trade lambs were $6-$11. Better and light lambs remained firm and up to $3-$5 dearer at times.
Restockers that were active came from Bendigo, Swan Hill, Wagga, Albury and South Australia, and with more local inquiry, competition increased for the lighter well-bred store lambs. They paid from $72-$102 for 2 scores and $36-$70 for the very light weights lambs, with most prices around 540-550c/kg cwt. Light weight 1 and 2 score lambs sold from $73-$94. Light trade 2 and 3 scores sold from $89- $112 and averaged around 500c/kg. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs made from $111-$133, or 470-540c/kg, to average an estimated 515c/kg cwt. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $144-$166 to average close to 535c/kg. A good quality draft of 213 hoggets sold for $119 and old lambs made up $115.
Lamb sales at Hamilton will be split over Monday and Wednesday next week, with the sheep sale on Thursday November 26.
Horsham lambs up to $5 dearer
At the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 9721 lambs, 1438 more than last week, and 6004 sheep, 1797 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was again average to good considering the dry season. The usual buyers operated strongly, with lambs generally selling up to $5 dearer than last week.
Trade weight and heavy lambs were in reasonable numbers and sold to keen competition, reaching a top of $149.50. Restockers were again active and paid from $76-$101.50 for lambs and from $50-$66 for lighter lots. Light weight 2 score lambs made from $80-$84. Lighter trade weight 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $90-$113 and averaged 490c/kg cwt. Medium weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $112-$122 and heavier lots sold from $118-$140, or 490c-540c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $136-$149.50 to average around 510c/kg.
Restockers paid $117.50 for Merino ewes with full wool and from $75-$83 for Merino wethers. The sheep offering included all weights and grades and some quality runs of heavy sheep. Sheep mostly sold to an easier trend with Merino mutton easing $2-$5 and the crossbred sheep easing $5-$10 in places.
Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $54.50-$84. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep sold from $60-$91.50, or 270-395c/kg cwt. Merinos averaged around 340c/kg. Heavy 3-5 score sheep sold from $75-$99, with heavy Merino wethers making $83-$101 and medium weights $65-$76.50.
Hamilton sheep in demand
At the Hamilton saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 11,764 sheep, 1265 more than last week.
Sheep quality lifted, especially in the heavy and medium weight Merino and crossbred ewes recently weaned of lambs. There were a few pens of overweight crossbred ewes and fewer drafts of light 1 score sheep.
Bidding remained steady in the sale that gained more strength as it progressed. Prices were $2-$4 dearer for heavy sheep, while medium trade weights and light mutton sold firm at the latter stages to be $2-$4 cheaper over the whole market.
The Merino wether offering was also very good, with most in heavy to medium condition. Restockers were active at times, buying crossbred ewes from $91-$111 and Merino wethers for $80-$97. Very light sheep sold from $36-$52. Light weight 1 and 2 score ewes sold from $61-$73, medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep made $63-$90, or 310-360c/kg, to average around 330c/kg. Heavy and extra heavy crossbred sheep, 3-4 score, sold from $80-$95, or 270-335c/kg, to average around 290c/kg. Merino wethers were mostly $4-$7 dearer. Medium weight 2-3 scores sold from $70-$93 and the heavier 3 and 4 score wethers made $96-$105, to average an estimated 345c/kg. Rams sold from $38-$65.
Mt Gambier lamb prices lift $5-$8
In South Australia at the Mt Gambier saleyards, the agents yarded 14,153 lambs, 4789 more than last week, and 357 sheep, 187 fewer.
The NLRS said the usual trade and processor buyers were fully active, with spirited bidding on the best yarding of new season lambs seen for some time. Most pens contained good weighted lambs with quality skins. These lambs were a credit to the vendors and the buoyant market saw prices rise by $5-$8, with very few light lambs coming forward which saw restocker support at a minimum.
Light weight lambs sold to the trade ranged from $80-$102. Restockers were only able to purchase in this weight range for $82-$98. Light weight 2 and 3 score lambs ranged from $100-$120, up $6. Trade weight 3 score lambs were in demand, with spirited bidding on every pen. These lambs ranged from $112-$135, up $8 to average 530c/kg cwt. Large numbers of heavy 4 score lambs were also chased by all buyers and these lambs made $126-$146. The extra heavy export weighted lambs ranged from $142-$160, up $5.
Hoggets sold to $86 and light weight ewes sold to $30. Medium weighted ewes ranged from $56-$68 and heavy ewes made $58-$86. Rams sold to $20.
Katanning lambs lift $5-$10
In Western Australia at the Katanning saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 4500 lambs, 50 more than last week, and 7103 sheep, 2931 fewer.
The NLRS said quality lambs lifted $5-$10 to a top of $128. All the usual buyers attended, with graziers picking up discounted unfinished lambs. Light weight new season lambs sold from $51-$60, while the trade weights made $93-$117. Heavy weights made from $119-$128. Lambs suitable for air freight sold from $64-$85. Store crossbred lambs sold to restockers and feeders made from $8 for immature lambs up to $76 for those that were nearly finished. Merino store lambs sold from $10-$52.
Prime ewe mutton was keenly sought after and finished $5 dearer. Young Merino ewes sold to restockers from $20 for bare shorn light weights to $89 for those with a fleece. Young store wethers sold to $63. Light ewes made $40. Light ewes sold to processors for $42-$52. The better bare shorn 3 score sheep sold for $55 and those with a fleece made to $85. Restockers paid $38-$80 for Merino ewes. Wethers sold to processors and exporters for $60-$100, depending on quality and weight. Young rams made to $106 and older rams sold for $10-$45.
Warwick’s heavy export lambs sell to $151
In Queensland at the Warwick saleyards on Thursday, the Warwick Selling Agents yarded 1775 lambs and hoggets, and 287 sheep.
Agents said the market was dearer for all descriptions of sheep and lambs. Heavy export lambs attracted strong competition from all buyers. The top-priced lambs in the sale were estimated at 60kg lwt and made $151 for Melrose Station of Killarney.
Crossbred lambs 46-55kg lwt sold from $128-$141, 42-45kg lambs made $120-$137, the 36-42kg lines went for $114-$129 and the 35-40kg lambs ranged from $100-$108.
Shorn crossbred hoggets, 51.5kg lwt sold to $89. Trade wethers with $6 skins sold to $107, or 330c/kg cwt. Heavy crossbred ewes with $12 skins sold to $98, or 325c/kg, and light ewes with $8 skins made to $51, or 260c/kg.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.