LIGHT and restocking lambs were the strongest performers in saleyards late last week, while trade and heavy slaughter lamb prices lost ground.
After Friday’s saleyard sales, the National Livestock Reporting Service’s Eastern States Daily Indicators for lamb were generally firm to slightly cheaper, with only the restocker, Merino and light lamb categories recording weekly gains.
Most 12.1-18kg lambs with skins valued at up to $7 made $81-$116 on Friday, or 550-694c/kg. Light and medium trade lambs, with skins worth up to $8, made$112-$154, or 546-695c/kg.
The NLRS ESDIs for lamb, their daily and weekly changes were: restocker 672c/kg, down 4 cents, up 43c; Merino 568c/kg, no change, up 11c; light 604c/kg, up 1c, up 15c; trade 618c/kg, down 6c, down 3c; heavy 612c/kg, down 5c, down 7c. The national trade lamb indicator closed down 8 cents to 619c/kg and the heavy indice dropped 7 cents to 612c/kg.
Mutton indicators generally held firm, with the ESDI for mutton up 1 cent to 402c/kg and the national indicator also up 1 cent to 399c/kg.
On AuctionsPlus last week, there was also strong interest in the large Merino and store lamb offering, and continued strong demand for ewes and ewe-lamb units, with unjoined first cross ewes selling to $176 and Merino ewes making to $250. Ewes with lambs made up to $279.
Cowra lambs firm to cheaper
In New South Wales on Friday, the agents yarded 6850 lambs, 1100 more than last week, and 850 sheep, 50 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was very good, with 5200 new season lambs offered in top condition. Most lambs were trade weights, with some heavy weights and a few stores. The usual buyers attended and competition was reasonable, resulting in a firm-slightly cheaper market.
Light new season lambs averaged $92 to restockers. Medium and heavy trade weight new season lambs were firm to $2 cheaper and averaged 630-645c/kg cwt. Most of the heavy trade weights sold from $138-$145. Heavy weights were firm to $4 easier and averaged 620c/kg. A few pens of extra heavy weight new season lambs sold from $160-$178. Trade weight old lambs averaged $122 and heavy weights averaged $145.
Sheep quality was mixed. Medium Merino ewes averaged $82.80 or 405c/kg. Heavy first cross ewes were dearer and averaged $113 or 390c/kg.
Griffith’s trade lambs $2-$4 cheaper
At the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 7200 lambs, 5200 fewer than last week, and 2700 sheep, 200 more.
The NLRS said 5700 fair quality new season lambs were penned. There was a good number of well-finished lambs and a few plainer types. Most of the usual buyers competed in an easier market.
Light new season lambs held firm to average $123. Trade weights were $2-$4 easier at $126-$154. Heavy and extra heavy weight lambs were firm to $5 cheaper. Heavy lambs sold from $155-$169 and extra heavies made $168-$188. Carcase prices averaged from 640-660c/kg. Old lambs were also $3-$4 easier. Trade weights sold from $126-$140. Heavy and extra heavy weights made $152-$185. Sheep quality continued to be mixed. Merino ewes sold from $83-$130 and crossbreds made $86-$135.
Shepparton lambs sell to $174
In Victoria at the Shepparton saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 3325 lambs, 2525 more than last week, and 175 sheep, 125 fewer.
The NLRS said lamb quality was good, with many of the new season lambs well-presented and with weight. The usual buyers attended and most operated fully on the 3025 young lambs and 300 old lambs.
Prices all up were very similar to last week, with just the trade weight new season lambs a little easier and light weight lambs on a dearer trend. The 3 score trade weight new season lambs made $112-$138, and the 3 and 4 score heavy weights sold from $136-$170, with an extra heavy pen estimated at 28kgs cwt making $175. Most new season lambs were estimated at 560-630c/kg cwt. The 3 score trade weight old lambs made $103-$121, and the 3 and 4 score heavy weights sold from $114-$139, with an extra heavy pen at $150. The old lambs made 460-530c/kg.
Sheep were mainly of 3 and 4 score heavy weights. Heavy weight 3 and 4 score hoggets made $105-$138 and the heavy 3-4 score ewe sheep sold to $125. A run of mutton made 350-400c/kg.
AuctionsPlus listings decrease
Sheep and lamb numbers decreased by 19,318 last week to 40,905. Buyer interest remained strong, with a clearance rate of 92 percent and 388 bidders logging into the eastern states’ sales.
Young Merino ewe numbers were strong this week and prices continued to rise, averaging $181 and ranging from $110.50-$250. The top price went to a line of 210 ready-to-join 15-16 month-old late-July shorn Moorundie blood ewes, weighing 69kg lwt and mostly score 4, from Balaklava, South Australia. A line of two-year-old unjoined early-February shorn Gullengamble and One Oak blood ewes, weighing 47.3kg and mostly score 2, at Dunedoo, New South Wales made $167.
Proven Merino breeders averaged $140, with the top price of $176 paid for 280 3.5-5.5 year-old unjoined Nyowee blood ewes, weighing 60.7kg and mostly score 2, from Balaklava, SA. Older Merino ewes averaged $127 with the top price of $165 paid for 296 unjoined early-February shorn 5.5 year old Moorundie blood ewes, weighing 73.2kg and score 2, from Burra, SA. A line of six year-old ewes, weighing 65kg and scanned in lamb to Border Leicester rams made $150 at Forbes, NSW.
Merino wether lamb numbers were strong on AuctionsPlus last week and the offering averaged $101. The top price of $119 was paid for 690 March/April drop unshorn lambs, weighing 19.2kg cwt and mostly score 2 in condition, from Nyngan, NSW. Wether hoggets averaged $89 and made up to $118.50 for 250 mid-June shorn July-September drop Lagoons and Woolaroo blood wethers, weighing 19.2kg cwt and mostly score 3, at Holbrook, NSW. Grown Merino wethers averaged $75.50 and made to $85 for a line of freshly shorn three year-old Seven Park blood wethers, weighing 16.2kg cwt and mostly score 1, at Cooma, NSW.
Store lambs, 27-30kg lwt, sold from $85.50-$105 to average $96 or 347c/kg lwt including skin value, the 31-33kg lambs made $90-$110, averaging $104 or 320c/kg, the 34-37kg lines sold for $112-$124.50 to average $118 or 325c/kg lwt and the 38-42kg lines made $104-$125, averaging $114 or 285c/kg lwt.
First cross ewe lambs averaged $170 and made up to $188 for 260 May/June drop ewes weighing 36kg and mostly score 1, at Kingston, SA. Young first cross ewes averaged $217 and the top price of $276 was paid for 200 unjoined 13-14 month old late-August shorn ewes, weighing 68k.1kg and mostly score 3 and 4, at Keith, SA.
Crossbred ewes this week averaged $158 and made up to $190 for 290 scanned empty 12-14 month-old SAMM/Merino ewes, weighing 54.8kg and mostly score 3, at Eudunda, SA.
Ewes and lambs averaged $255 and made up to $279 for 115 12-13 month-old mid-February shorn MeatPlus-Composite ewes, 53kg lwt and mostly score 3, with 124 1-6 week-old MeatPlus lambs, at Tarcutta, NSW.
White Dorper ewes, 1-7 years-old, 64.6kg lwt and mostly score 2, sold for $182 at Bourke in NSW. They were scanned 100pc in lamb to White Dorper lambs.
On Thursday, AuctionsPlus ran the Watervalley first cross lamb sale. There was 13,135 head offered with 6900 ewe lambs, and 6235 wether lambs. With 110 bidders logged into the sale from QLD, NSW, VIC and SA, the ewe lambs averaged $170 and sold to $193 for 3-4 month old, 38kg lwt lambs. Wether lambs averaged $104, with a top price of $119 for 3-4 month old 43kg lambs.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.