Strong buyer interest in sheep and lambs continued in the last pre-Christmas online and physical sales last Friday.
After the Cowra sheep and lamb sale on Friday, the National Livestock Reporting Service quoted the Eastern States Daily Trade Lamb Indicator at 548c/kg, up two cents, and the heavy lamb indice up one cent to 553c/kg.
The ES daily restocker lamb indicator finished strongly for 2014, up four cents to 534c/kg, and the light lamb indice also lifted, by three cents, to 536c/kg. The ES Merino lamb indicator fell one cent to 475c/kg.
The main national lamb indicators also finished up one cent; trade lambs closing on 548c/kg and the heavy category on 554c/kg. The ES and national daily mutton indicators both lost five cents to close on 320c/kg.
Cowra’s light lambs $4 dearer
In NSW at Cowra on Friday, the agents yarded 8600 lambs, 1350 more than last week, and 2300 sheep, 1500 fewer, for the last sale of the year.
The NLRS said lamb quality was very good across all grades, especially the new season and heavy shorn lambs. Mainly trade and heavy weights were penned, along with a good supply of store lambs suitable for restockers. All the buyers were present, though not all operated. Competition was sound, resulting in a firm market.
Light lambs to the restockers were $4 dearer and averaged from $72-$102. Medium and heavy trade weight new season lambs were firm and averaged from 560c/kg-570c/kg cwt. Most of the heavy trade weight lambs sold from $125-$135.
Heavy shorn lambs were firm to slightly dearer, with 24kg cwt lambs ranging from 532c/kg-554c/kg cwt. A few pens of extra heavy weight lambs sold from $145-$155.
Mutton quality was good. Medium first cross ewes were $10 cheaper and averaged $65.50, or 271c/kg cwt. Heavy Merino wethers were $11 cheaper and averaged $96.90, or 314c/kg cwt.
AuctionsPlus numbers decrease
Sheep and lamb numbers slipped 16,665 to 38,620 head. Strong buyer activity from those looking to secure stock prior to Christmas led to an 80 percent clearance sheep and lambs, market operations officer Anna Adams said.
Young Merino ewes showed larger variation in quality and price this week, with maidens selling from $52-$132 and a line of joined ewes out of SA making $156, she said. Unjoined aged ewes sold from $57-$100.
Ms Adams said first cross ewe prices continued to rise and there were good numbers on offer. Ewe lambs this week sold from $150-$181, and 17-month-olds out of Young sold for $200. Unjoined proven breeders sold from $103-$158.50 and ewes scanned in-lamb to Poll Dorset rams made $130.50-$162.
Ms Adams said Merino wether lamb prices spiked this week, selling from $60-$80, to average $65, up $10. The top price was for Uardry blood lambs out of Hay, September shorn and weighing 37kg lwt. Hoggets sold from $70.50-$86 for May-shorn Salt Creek and Fernleigh blood wethers weighing 41kg lwt.
Store lamb prices firmed by $3-$5 this week reflecting trends in physical marketplaces, Ms Adams said. The 30-31kg lwt lambs made $80-$88.50 and 33-34kg lines sold for $70-$94.50. The 35-37kg drafts sold from $88.50-$95.50, and the 38-40kg lambs made $91-$107, with the top price being for August/September drop second crosses out of Crookwell.
Sources: NLRS and AuctionsPlus.