PRICES for quality trade and heavy lambs held their ground in the few saleyard offerings last week.
And prices in the store lamb categories – restocker, Merino and light lambs – continue move upward in saleyards and online with AuctionsPlus, as restockers compete for dwindling supplies.
The National Livestock Reporting Service quoted slaughter lambs as cheaper at Griffith on Friday, but the best restocking lambs still sold to 588c/kg cwt, light lambs made to 571c/kg, trade lambs to 591c/kg and heavy lambs to 577c/kg.
Griffith agent Mark Flagg said the best quality slaughter lambs are still selling firm, with one line of 36-37kg cwt lambs making $193.50 and 127 outstanding 24-25kg early October shorn One Oak blood April-drop Merino lambs making $149.
“I didn’t think it was any cheaper personally in our run.”
Mr Flagg thought the numbers of lambs going direct to slaughter might be dropping off now.
“There was good competition right through for the best lambs.”
At the Cowra saleyards, prices were firm to dearer for all lamb categories, with the best quality light trade and heavy lambs making up to 600c/kg-plus. Medium trade lambs 20.1-22kg cwt with $4-$8 skins made up to $140 or 618c/kg.
NLRS lamb indicators generally hold firm
After Friday’s saleyard sales, the National Livestock Reporting Service quoted the restocker, Merino and light lambs categories as slightly improved, while trade and heavy lambs were lower. The NLRS Eastern States Daily Indicators for lamb, their daily and weekly changes were: restocker 560c/kg, up 2 cents, up 9c; Merino 508c/kg, up 1c, up 46c; light 529c/kg, up 2c, up 21c; trade 551c/kg, down 1c, down 2c; heavy 555c/kg, down 2c, down 5c. The national trade lamb indicator closed down 2 cents at 551c/kg, and the heavy indice was down 2 cents to 555c/kg.
The ESDI and national mutton indicators both finished the week on 312c/kg, representing a 17-cent jump for the eastern indicator.
AuctionsPlus offerings increasing
Store lambs sold to $117 and first cross ewe lambs made $192.50 on AuctionsPlus last week.
AuctionsPlus market operations officer Anna Adams said the first week in February is looking fresher with scattered rainfall and high numbers in online eastern states Sheep sales. Last week’s offering of 45,157 sheep and lambs, was 11,642 up on the previous week.
Agents offered 15,230 Merino ewes and more store lambs online last week, plus solid numbers of grown Merino wethers and first cross ewes.
Unjoined 16-17 months-old Merino ewes, Ravy and Danbury blood, 49.4kg lwt, mostly score 2 and shorn early May, from Weemelah, NSW, made $162. A line of 176 18-19 month-old Merino ewes, 53.7kg lwt, mostly score 2s, late October shorn and scanned in lamb 119 percent to Border Leicester rams at Coonamble, NSW, sold for $150. A line of two-year-old early August shorn unjoined Merino ewes, 45.1kg lwt and mostly score 2s, sold for $136 at Thallon in Queensland.
Older Merino ewes made to $150.50 for 234 4-5 year-olds scanned 100pc in lamb to White Suffolk rams at Deniliquin, NSW. The line of 234 mid-August shorn ewes weighed 67.1kg lwt and were mostly score 3s. The average price for this age bracket was $112.
Merino ewes 5-7 years-old sold from $60.50-$145, averaging at $92.25. The top-price line of 400 early October shorn 5.5 year-old Roseville Park blood ewes weighed 62.9kg lwt, were mostly score 2s and scanned 100pc in lamb to White Suffolk rams.
Merino wether lambs were scarce, with the top price coming from South Australia, Ms Adams said. The tidy Rednor blood line of unshorn April-May drop wethers weighed 17.5kg cwt, were mostly score 1 and 2, and made $85 at Bowhill, South Australia. A line of 210 16-17 month-old early January shorn Merino hoggets, 57.3kg lwt and mostly score 2 and 3, sold for $115 at Barham, NSW. The average for this category was $73.50.
Store lambs sold to $117 for a line of June-July drop mid-November shorn Poll Dorset and White Suffolk cross lambs at Glenrowan in Victoria. The lambs weighed 20.5kg cwt.
The store lamb ranges for last week were: 18-20kg cwt $66.50-$70.50, 21-27kg $70.50-$87.50, 28-32kg $67-$94.50, 33-36kg $86-$105.50, 37-42kg $97-$111 and 43-46kg $108-$117.
Large number of young first cross ewe lambs were offered online last week. At Trangie in NSW, an exceptional line of 630 7-8 month-old late November shorn lambs by Super Border rams sold for $192.50. The unjoined lambs weighed 57.8kg lwt and were mostly score 3 and 4. A line of 290 April-May drop late September shorn first cross ewe lambs sold for $178 at Ariah Park in NSW’s Riverina. They weighed 55.7kg lwt and were mostly score 3 and 4. The average price for this category was $121.50 which was down from last week, but the much higher supply this week resulted in more price elasticity, Ms Adams said.
Mature first cross ewes sold to $155 on AuctionsPlus this week, with a line 700 4-5 year-old mid-April shorn ewes at Branxholme in Victoria making the top price. The joined ewes weighed 65.4kg lwt and were mostly score 2 and 3. The first cross ewe ranges included: 3-4 year olds $152-$155 averaging $154, and 5-7 year olds $95-$146.50.
Other featured sales online this week included the Elders Tasmanian Sheep Sale which had 100pc clearance, with a line of 5 year-old early August shorn Roseville Park blood Merino ewes weighing 59.8kg lwt and mostly score 3, making $91.50.
The annual Petali White Suffolk and Poll Merino Ram Sale last Thursday sold White Suffolks to $3200 and the Poll Merino to $4600. The Amarula Dorper 13th Annual Production Sale at Glenavon, NSW, sold a ram for $7,000 and averaged of $1940.
Griffith trade lambs average $3-$6 cheaper
In New South Wales at the Griffith saleyards last Friday, the agents yarded 11,700 lambs, 5000 more than last week, and 2800 sheep, 1600 more.
The National Livestock Reporting Service said lamb quality was again mixed, with some good lines of well-finished lambs and plainer types lacking finish. Most were heavy and extra heavy weight lambs.
The usual buyers competed in a cheaper market. Light lambs eased $3 to $100-$106. Trade weights were $3 to $6 easier at $107-$138. Heavy and extra heavy lambs were back $2-$7. Heavy weights sold from $132-$149 and extra heavies made $144-$193. Carcase prices averaged from 487-557c/kg.
Sheep quality continued to be mixed and most were Merinos. Prices lifted slightly, with Merino ewes making $78-$112 and crossbred ewes $74-$96.
Cowra’s trade lambs lift $3-$4
At the Cowra saleyards last Friday, the agents yarded 9000 lambs, 1100 more than last week, and 3400 sheep, 1850 more.
Quality improved in the heavy lambs, which were very well presented. Mainly heavy weights were penned and trade lambs were slightly limited in supply. There were some good runs of store lambs. An extra buyer joined the usual field. Competition was solid resulting in a firm to dearer market with trade lambs experiencing the most gains.
Light lambs sold to the processors were firm to $3 dearer at $100-$107. Store lambs sold $3 easier at $52-$82. Medium and heavy trade weight lambs were $3-$4 dearer and averaged around 595c/kg cwt. Most of the heavy trade weights sold from $130-$140.
Heavy weight lambs sold to a firm trend at mostly 520-560c/kg. There were quite a few pens of extra heavy lambs which sold from $165-$180.
Some larger lines of quality sheep were offered. Medium Merino ewe averaged $66 or 290c/kg cwt. Heavy first cross ewes were $3 dearer at $81-$91 or around 290-300c/kg cwt. Quality wethers sold from $83-$94.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.