PRICES for trade and heavy new season lambs dipped mid-week as sucker yardings increased in New South Wales and processors reacted to lower yield results from previous purchases.
With larger sucker yardings earlier in the week and Wagga agents yarding 8740 new season lambs – 39 percent of the yarding – NSW’s trade weights generally made 505-628c/kg and the heavier lines ranged from 546-629c/kg.
Prices for the new season slaughter lambs were lower in Queensland (513-628c/kg) and in Western Australia (447-558c/kg).
However, rates for light new season lambs 12.1-18kg cwt strengthened, with lines at several saleyards in NSW and Victoria making 453-661c/kg to restockers and the trade.
Processors react to lower carcase yields and more lambs
Landmark Wagga livestock manager Peter Cabot said the cheaper trade and heavy lamb prices at the centre reflected the increased new season offerings across NSW and declining old lamb quality.
“The new season lambs were making 650c/kg, so we are certainly coming off a very high price because there hasn’t been heaps of weight in them.
“They were making 650c/kg and now they are back towards 600c/kg.”
Mr Cabot said more lambs going over the hooks under contract prices might have been having an effect in other areas, though not around Wagga.
Elders auctioneer at Wagga Joe Wilks said buyers were also adjusting to new season lambs yielding less due to the cold conditions. He said restockers were stronger on the light new season lambs under 18kg cwt at the centre this week.
New season lamb prices drift down
In NSW at the Carcoar saleyards, the National Livestock Reporting Service quoted 12.1-18kg new season lambs with $4-$8 skins at $80-$102, or 511-600c/kg, and the 18.1-22kg trade weight lines with $11 skins made $111-$128, or 453-537c/kg.
At Wagga, the 12.1-18kg new season lamb lines with $7-$8 skins made $80-$114, or 557-661c/kg and the trade weights with $8-$13 skins sold from $111-$148, or 505-627c/kg. The heavier 22.1-24kg lines with $8-$13 skins made $141-$173.20, or 546-629c/kg.
Cootamundra’s 12.1-18kg suckers with $6-$10 skins sold from $74-$125, or 453-628c/kg. Trade weights with $10-$12 skins made $122-$133, or 572-628c/kg, and the heavy weight lines with $12 skins sold from $135-$150, or 513-571c/kg.
At Horsham in Victoria, the 12.1-18kg new season lambs with $6-$8 skins sold from $92-$108, or 556-614c/kg. Ouyen’s new season lambs sold up to $175 or 610c/kg.
Katanning’s 16.1-18kg new season lambs with $2-$5 skins made $72-$101, or 394-544c/kg and the trade weights with $3-$8 skins ranged from $90-$120, or 447-558c/kg.
NLRS light lamb indicator regains ground
The NLRS Eastern States Daily Indicator for restocker lambs regained ground lost earlier this week, lifting 17 cents to 549c/kg, after Thursday’s saleyard sales. All other lamb and muttons ESDIs fell on Thursday.
The other lambs ESDIs are: Merino 529c/kg, down 8 cents; light 539c/kg, down 2c; trade 592c/kg, down 4c; heavy 594c/kg. The national trade lamb indicator closed 5 cents down to 593c/kg and the heavy indice finished at 595c/kg, also down 5 cents.
The mutton indicators lost 4 cents, with the ESDI at 375c/kg and the national indice on 371c/kg.
Carcoar’s light lambs up $4
In New South Wales at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange at Carcoar on Wednesday, the agents yarded 7400 lambs, 550 more than last week, and 2300 sheep, 850 more.
The NLRS said there were a few lines of well-finished grain assisted lambs, but a large percentage of the offering showed the effects of the winter.
Light weight lambs were $4 dearer, with the 12-18kg cwt 2 scores selling from $52-$102. Trade lambs were firm to $3 cheaper, mainly due to the plainer quality. The 18-22kg cwt 3 scores sold from $94-$136, while the few trade weight new season lambs sold to $128. Heavy weight lambs were firm and the extra heavy weights were $5 dearer, with the over 22kg cwt 4 scores making $137-$197.
The sheep were of mixed quality. Light weight sheep sold $4 dearer, while the better heavier weights were $5 cheaper. Medium and heavy weight crossbred ewes sold from $70-$124 and the Merinos made to $112. Well-finished longer wool Merino wethers sold for $138.
Wagga’s lamb prices fall $7-$10
At the Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 22,000 lambs, 1000 fewer than last week, and 7000 sheep, 2000 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was mixed. New season lamb numbers lifted to about 8740. Old lamb numbers declined and quality was quite mixed with a limited portion of the offering shorter skinned lambs supplementary fed showing bloom. All the domestic and export buyers operated. New season heavy trade lambs were in reasonable numbers and demand weakened for light and medium trade weights.
Prices in general fell $7-$10 to average 593c/kg cwt. Bidding was strongest for heavy new season lambs, with good clean skins. The heavy lambs eased $2, selling from $153-$173.20 to average 596c/kg. Buyers again this week operated on skin values of $10-$13.
Old trade lamb quality was mixed and prices were generally $5-$9 cheaper. The better finished 21-24kg cwt lambs sold from $122-$148, with heavy trade lambs averaging 589c/kg. There was a mixed selection of heavy and extra heavy lambs which sold to the regular buyers. The 24-26kg lambs sold up to $5 cheaper and extra heavy lambs made $167-$198.60, averaging 585c/kg.
Merino lambs were well-supplied and quality varied through each category, with prices easing up to $10. The better finished trade Merino lambs sold from $113-$134.
The sheep were very mixed in quality, with all weights and grades represented. A fair percentage of ewes and wethers were medium weight sheep, with a substantial portion shorn or shorter skinned. Merino ewe mutton sold to slightly weaker demand with prices $3 cheaper. Heavy crossbred ewes were keenly contested and prices were unchanged, averaging 353c/kg cwt. Merino wethers were in reasonable supply and quality was quite mixed, with most categories carrying less skin value. The better finished drafts sold from $105-$125, to average 400c/kg.
Hamilton’s trade lambs lift $5-$10
In Victoria at the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 2866 lambs, 2085 more than last week, and 1410 sheep, 1048 more.
Most of the usual winter buyers attended. Although not all operated, there was more competition, creating a dearer market overall. It was a typical mixed offering for this time of year, with some good quality drafts of medium trade lambs.
Light lamb prices were firm, light trade and medium trade weight lambs sold $5-$10 dearer and the heavy and export lines lifted $5-$6.
There was some occasional local restocker activity and light weight 1 and 2 score lambs sold from $44-$100. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs made $103-$113, or 570-606c/kg cwt, averaging around 590c/kg. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $112-$142, or 595-620c/kg. Heavy trade and export lambs made $138-$167, or an estimated 600c/kg.
The mixed quality sheep offering included a large line of Merino wethers and a few pens of heavy crossbred sheep. Light weight sheep prices were unchanged, medium sheep sold $5-$9 dearer in places and heavier export lots rose $2-$3. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $32-$66, medium weight 2 and 3 scores made $75-$99 and the heavy crossbred 3 and 4 scores ranged from $98-$117, to average around 380c/kg cwt. Medium weight 2 to 3 score Merino wethers sold from $75-$93, averaging 410c/kg.
Horsham lambs slightly dearer
In the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 1715 lambs, 47 more than last week, and 4276 sheep, 2262 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was average and most regular buyers attended.
Lambs generally sold a few dollars up on last week, with light trade weight new season young lambs selling to $108. Restocking activity was limited. Light weight 2 score lambs sold to $76. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs made $112-$122 and averaged around 590c/kg cwt. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $132-$150, ranging from 570-590c/kg to average around 580c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs made $152-$170 and averaged around 600c/kg. Merino lambs sold from $85-$102.50.
The increased sheep offering included more shorn ewes and wethers, with some good runs of heavy sheep on offer. Ewe mutton sold similar to last week, with Merino wethers up to $5 dearer.
Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep made $48-$78. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep sold from $79- $105, or 370-435c/kg. Merino sheep averaged around 400c/kg. Heavy 3 to 5 score sheep sold from $81-$115. Heavy Merino wethers sold from $97-$111 and medium weights made $80-$95, averaging around 400c/kg. Restockers paid $140 for mixed age crossbred ewes with marked lambs.
Ouyen’s new season lambs lift $5
At the Ouyen saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 6802 new season lambs, 8521 old lambs and 4042 sheep, 2800 more than the last fortnightly sale.
Fresh quality lambs sold to strong buyer competition; up to $175 or 610c/kg for new season lambs. Prices for sucker lambs were $5 dearer and older lambs sold firm. Mutton prices were also firm.
Export weight lambs sold from $153-$175, or 580-610c/kg, and the trade weights made $124-$158, or 600-630c/kg. Heavy Merino lambs made $89-$133.60 or 540-560c/kg. Heavy sheep sold from $85-$126.20 or 360-390c/kg.
Katanning restockers strong
In Western Australia at the Katanning saleyards, the agents yarded 6000 lambs, 2500 more than last week, and 5000 sheep, 852 more.
The NLRS said it was a very mixed quality yarding. All buyers were in attendance with restockers bidding strongly on the store lines.
Prime new season lambs sold to $120. Heavier new season lambs sold from $82-$120, to average $102. Air freight lambs sold from $58-$100. Crossbred trade weight lambs made from $80-$117, to average $103. Heavy weights over 22kg sold from $104-$117, averaging $110 to remain firm. Crossbred lambs to restockers sold from $30-$79, while Merino lambs made $28-$80.
Ewe prices regained last week’s price drop and ewes in wool sold very well. Light ewes and the 2 score processor sheep with 7.5 cm skins made $50-$90 and the better 3 score mutton sold from $81-$99. Restockers paid to $79 for the younger store ewes. Young Merino ewes sold to restockers for $40-$88, averaging $57.
Export rams and wethers were in demand. Wether prices were up $5, with processors paying $70-$113. Restockers paid to $45-$106. Live export wethers sold from $80-$129. Smaller store wethers made $45-$87, averaging $68.
Rams prices were up, with processors paying $70-$95 for ram lambs and $5-$20 for aged store lots. Feeders and restockers paid up to $64. Live export rams sold for $60-$100.
Cootamundra’s trade weight suckers cheaper
In Queensland at the Cootamundra saleyards on Wednesday, the agent yarded 6300 lambs, 1600 more than last week, and 2300 sheep, 1500 fewer.
The NLRS said the quality of the new season lambs was good, but mixed in the old lambs. Most were trade weights, with a small run of heavy old lambs. Not all the usual buyers operated in a market that started strongly and eased as the sale progressed. New season lambs were firm on the light weights and cheaper on the trade and heavy weights.
Trade weight new season lambs ranged from $122-$133 and from $135-$150 for the heavy weights. Most averaged around 570c/kg cwt. Old lambs were $9-$15 cheaper with less competition. Medium and heavy trade weights sold from $103-$136. Heavy lambs made $136-$164 and the extra heavy lambs sold to $174. Most ranged from 530-570c/kg.
Mutton quality was mixed and prices were cheaper on a carcase weight basis. Medium weight ewes sold from $74-$110 and heavy weights made $94-$124. Most averaged 330-350c/kg cwt, with the best of the wethers making to 430c/kg.
Warwick market firm to dearer
At the Warwick saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 1571 lambs and hoggets, and 572 sheep.
The Warwick Selling Agents said the market was firm to a shade dearer for all descriptions. The top lambs made $164 for G.P. and J.A. Cross of Hebel.
Crossbred lambs 46-55kg lwt sold from $128-$144, the 42-45kg lambs made $122-$134.50, the 36-42kg lines sold from $108-$124 and the 35-40kg lines ranged from $98-$111. Heavy weight lambs estimated at 75kg lwt sold to $164.
Shorn crossbred hoggets 43.3kg lwt sold to $99. Trade wethers with $10 skins sold to $ 108 or 405c/kg cwt and light wethers ($8 skins) made to $74 or 320c/kg.
Heavy crossbred ewes with $15 skins sold to $146 or 405c/kg and light lines with $15 skins made to $88 or 315c/kg.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.