STRONG interest in breeding ewes and store lambs continued on AuctionsPlus last week.
Lambs made up 65 percent, or 51,957, of the 79,827 sheep and lambs offered, 8582 fewer than the previous week.
Young Merino ewes sold for an average of $117 online last week, up $12 from last week. The top price of $155.50 was paid 350 2.5 year-old mid-May shorn unjoined Centre Plus blood ewes, 69.2kg lwt and mostly score 3, at Goulburn, New South Wales. Their 120 3.5-year-old sisters made $144.50.
Older Merino Ewes averaged $89 and sold to a top price of $115 for 150 four-year-old unjoined late-May shorn Billa Burra Burra blood ewes at Bowning in New South Wales.
Merino wether lamb prices ranged from $35-$90 for an average of $60. The top-priced lines included 450 mid-November shorn June-July drop lambs, 17.7kg cwt at Penneshaw, South Australia, and 205 March-April drop mid-October shorn lambs, 17.8kg cwt, at Karoonda, SA.
First cross ewe lambs made to $180 for 150 late-September shorn May-June drop lambs, 51.2kg lwt, at Boorowa NSW. Young breeders topped the market at $195 for 87 16-19 month-old, unjoined ewes, 65.4kg lwt and mostly score 3-4, from Middleton, SA. The 3-4 year-old first cross ewes sold last week averaged $135 and older ewes averaged $111.
A line of 80 2-3 year-old Castlebar blood White Dorper Ewes from Boggabri NSW, scanned 100pc in lamb to White Dorper rams, made $202, and a line of one-year-olds sold for $198.
Store crossbred lambs weighing 23-24kg lwt averaged $63 on AuctionsPlus last week. The 25-28kg lambs ranged from $62-$77.50, averaging $69. A large offering of lambs weighing 30-32kg ranged from $74.50-$85.50, averaging $80. The 33-35kg lambs made $84-$97 and averaged $91.50. The 36-39kg lambs skid from $89-$100 to average $94.
A big line of 600 April-May drop early-September shorn first cross wether lambs, 19.4kg cwt and mostly score 2, made the top price of $102.
NLRS slaughter lamb indicators hold firm
After Friday’s sole saleyard sale, the National Livestock Reporting Service quoted its Eastern States Daily Indicators for slaughter lambs as firm to slightly dearer. The NLRS ESDIs for lamb, their daily and weekly changes were: Restocker 511c/kg, no daily change, down 11 cents for the week; Merino 401c/kg, down 9c, down 32c; light 483c/kg, up 3c, down 1c; trade 517c/kg, up 2c, up 12c; heavy 532c/kg, up 1c, up 9c. The national trade lamb indicator closed up 3 cents to 519c/kg, and the heavy lamb indice finished up 2 cents to 533c/kg.
The ESDI for mutton closed down 4 cents for Friday to 253c/kg, making a 39-cent fall for the week. The national mutton indicator finished on 255c/kg, down 4c.
Cowra competition solid
In New South Wales at the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 7500 lambs, 2000 fewer than last week, and 1170 sheep, 2030 less.
The NLRS said lamb quality varied slightly for the final sale of the year. The shorn new season heavy lambs offered were in good condition, but some woolly lines showed signs of dryness. Mainly trade and heavy weights were penned and there were plenty of store lambs. Not all the usual buyers operated, but competition was solid.
The market was dearer, especially for shorn trade lambs. Light lambs sold to processors for $88-$95. Store lambs were $3 dearer and averaged $78-$98. Medium and heavy trade weight new season lambs were $5 dearer at 530-540c/kg cwt. Trade shorn lambs sold up to $8-$10 dearer, averaging 553c/kg and making $124-$130.
Heavy weight new seasons were $5 dearer at 525-540c/kg. Extra heavy weight shorn lambs sold to a cheaper trend from 510-535c/kg. A pen of extra heavy weight shorn lambs with an estimated carcase weight of 32-33kg sold for $170.
Mutton quality was very mixed. Light Merino ewes were $7 dearer and averaged $42. Medium Merino ewes were firm at mostly $56-$61. Heavy wethers sold to $81. Heavy first cross ewes were cheaper and averaged $68, or 250c/kg.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.