STORE lambs averaged 710c/kg cwt and maiden first cross ewes sold to $220 on AuctionsPlus last week, as interest in restocking lambs and joinable or proven breeding stock remained high.
AuctionsPlus market operations officer Anna Adams said sheep and lamb numbers contracted to 26,225 last week.
This contraction and continued strong optimism in the lamb market led to increased prices for store lambs and first cross ewes online.
She said continually increasing beef prices are also expected to have a positive impact on both domestic and export demand for lamb.
Southern sheep shift continues
Of the 4,400 sheep and lambs offered in Queensland last week, 50 percent are heading to New South Wales and 30pc were purchased by South Australian buyers.
“Maiden Border Leicester-Merino ewes sold from $216 to a top of $220 for ewes weighing 65kg lwt out of Central NSW and ewe lambs made $116.50 to $183,” she said.
Maiden Merino ewes also sold well this week, from $113.50-$152.50, and young ewes scanned to terminal rams made $170-$171. The top price of $152.50 was paid for Centreplus blood two year-old Merino ewes in lamb to White Suffolk rams. Aged Merino ewes with crossbred lambs made from $158 to a top of $182 for 4-6 year-old ewes with a big jacket and Southdown lambs in Tasmania. Young unjoined Dohne ewes sold from $112-$153. In a Dohne flock dispersal in SA, two year-old Mt Alma blood ewes sold to a top of $161.
Autumn drop Merino wether lambs sold from $75-$85, while grown lambs made from $60.50 to a top of $93.50 for June shorn, 43kg lwt Cassilis Park blood lambs at Bourke, NSW.
Store crossbred lambs averaged 710c/kg carcase weight equivalent over two sale days, up 4c on last week. The 27-29kg lwt lambs sold from $84.50-$97.50, the 30-32kg lines made $90-$97.50 and the 33-35kg drafts ranged from $96 to a top of $118 for a line of 34kg mixed sex first cross lambs. The heaviest line offered were 46kg Poll Dorset/Merinos at Condobolin that sold for $118.50.
Trade and heavy new season lambs sell at 540-628c/kg
At Cowra on Friday, the National Livestock Reporting Services quoted 12.1-18kg cwt new season lambs with $6-$8 skins at $94.50-$115, or 457-622c/kg. The 18.1-22kg trade lambs with $8-$11 skins made $124.50-$146, or 568-618c/kg, and the 22.1-26kg lines with $11-$12 skins sold from $152-$160, or 564-600c/kg. The 26.1-30kg lines with $11 skins made $163-$165, or 563-570c/kg.
At Shepparton on Friday, the light new season lambs with 0-$7 skins made $82.50-$115, or 550-620c/kg. The 18.1-22kg trade weights with 0-$8 skins sold from $108-$138, or 540-593c/kg, and the 22.1-26kg lines with $8-$10 skins made $138.50-$160, or 544-628c/kg. Some 26.1-30kg young lambs with $10 skins sold for $170.50, or 594c/kg.
NLRS indicators follow online store lamb trend
Lamb market confidence from restockers was also reflected in the NLRS Eastern States Daily Market Indicators for last week, with only restocker, light and Merino lambs recording overall positive movement for the week.
After Friday’s saleyard sales, the NLRS ESDIs for lambs, their daily and weekly changes were: restocker 603c/kg, down 10 cents Friday, up 24c for the week; merino 538c/kg, down 1c, up 15c; light 544c/kg, down 1c, up 1c; trade 585c/kg, down 5c, down 14c; heavy 580c/kg, down 5c, down 22c. The national trade indicator finished the week on 589c/kg and the heavy indice was on 585c/kg.
The ESDI and national indicator for mutton finished on 381c/kg.
Cowra new season lambs $6-$9 cheaper
In New South Wales at the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 8800 lambs, 1300 more than last week, and 1200 sheep, 700 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was good, especially in the heavy new season lambs, which were well-finished. Mainly trade and heavy weights were penned, including about 7000 new season lambs. The number of old lambs was limited, but there was a handy supply of store lambs suitable for restockers. The usual buyers operated, plus one extra. Competition was easier, but improved as the sale progressed, with market following a cheaper trend.
Light new season lambs averaged $112.70 to be down $9 and store lambs held firm to average $99.30. Medium and heavy trade weight new season lambs were $6 cheaper at 590-600c/kg cwt. Most of the better heavy trade weights sold from$138 to $146. Heavy weight new seasons were $2-$8 cheaper at 570-586c/kg. A few pens of extra heavy weight new seasons sold from $160-$165.
The trade old lamb supply was limited and they averaged around $110. Heavy weight old lambs were around $3-$8 cheaper at 540-570c/kg. The extra heavy weights sold from $150-$172.
Mutton quality was reasonable. Medium first cross ewes averaged $100 or 390c/kg cwt. The score 4 heavy weight ewes averaged $112 or 365c/kg cwt. Young ewes averaged $152.60 to local restockers.
Shepparton new season lambs reach $170.50
In Victoria at the Shepparton saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 1837 lambs, 115 fewer than last week, and 1463 sheep, 156 more.
The NLRS said lamb numbers increased as the first major drafts of young lambs were offered. About 1000 young lambs were yarded, giving buyers a much better selection of trade weight slaughter lambs. The offering of old season lambs was very mixed and comprised mostly secondary types in small and odd lots.
Prices for young lambs reached a top of $170.50 for a pen estimated at about 27kg cwt with a $10 skin. Prices for old lambs sold to $150, but were mostly cheaper, with quality a factor. Only a few pens of young lambs over 24kg cwt were offered and they sold from $160-$170.50.
The main run of heavy trade weight young lambs, 22-24kg cwt, sold from $143-$152, and averaged $148, or just over 600c/kg cwt. Once off the top pens, which were more consistent for weight and carcass finish, price results were mostly in a range of 565-580c/kg. Lighter weight young slaughter lambs mostly made from $102-$125. A couple of pens sold to restockers at $95.50-$105.
The selection of old lambs was very mixed for quality and breed type, with prices mostly cheaper week-on-week.
The sheep sale showed a dearer trend for the main lines of medium weight Merino ewes and wethers in good skins, which sold from $103-$109 and made over 400c/kg cwt at times. Extra heavy crossbred ewes were cheaper at $97-$115.
Sources: AuctionsPlus, MLA, NLRS.