TRADE and heavy lamb prices firmed further in saleyards mid-week – generally up $5-$10 — with dressed prices over 600c/kg becoming more common.
Mutton rates also lifted at all centres, up over the 400c/kg mark, and particularly for medium and heavy sheep, after the re-entry of an additional buyer in Victoria.
Slaughter lambs at Wagga this week regularly made more than 600c/kg cwt, with the best 22-24kg lambs with $2-10 skins making up around 9pc of the yarding and ranging from 563-697c/kg.
Heavy 24.1kg-plus wethers at Wagga with $1-$8 skins made $124-$138 or 433-501c/kg cwt.
Most NLRS lamb indicators on the rise
After Thursday’s saleyard sales, the National Livestock Reporting Service quoted all national and Eastern States Daily Indicators for lamb and mutton as improved, except for the heavy lamb indicators, which were firm on 598c/kg.
The ESDIs for lambs are: restocker 559c/kg, up 5 cents; Merino 557c/kg, up 5c; light 575c/kg, up 7c, and; trade 598c/kg, up 3c.
The ESDI for mutton is on 404c/kg and the national indice closed on 403c/kg, both up 3 cents.
Carcoar’s trade and heavy lambs lift $7-$10
In NSW at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange at Carcoar, the agents yarded 8500 lambs, 100 more than last week, and 4300 sheep, 100 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality was a little mixed, but there were plenty of well-finished trade and heavy weighted lambs. Light store lambs were limited and most of the usual buying orders were in place.
The market lifted $7-$10 over the trade and heavy lambs. Restocking lambs sold from $75-$110. The 3 score medium and heavy trade weights ranged from $98-$155. Heavy lambs sold from $139-$172 to range from 592-615c/kg cwt. Extra heavy lambs reached $196.
Mutton quality was good. The sheep were mostly Merinos, including a few large runs of shorn ewes. Prices lifted $4-$7. Medium weights sold from $90-$130. Heavy crossbreds made $107-$128 and heavy shorn wethers reached $104. Most ranged from 410-440c/kg cwt.
Wagga’s Merino lambs lift $18
At the Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 30,000 lambs, 1000 more than last week, and 10,000 sheep, 3000 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality improved in the trade and heavy lamb categories. A full field of buyers were in attended, but not all major export buyers operated. There was limited restocker and lot feeder activity, with well-bred second cross lambs selling to dearer trends. Trade lambs were in reasonable numbers, along with increased supplies of well-finished lambs, presenting in a shorter skin.
Light trade lambs to slaughter sold to strong southern competition and select butcher orders to averaged $127. Medium weight trade lambs sold to stronger price trends lifting $3 to average $143.20. The better finished heavy trade lambs sold to similar rates of $141-$169 to average 619c/kg cwt.
Merino lambs were in reasonable numbers and well-finished pens suitable for the trade made from $113-$136. Plainer light weight Merino lambs sold to the processors around $18 dearer, ranging from $83-$112. Well-bred second cross lambs returning to the paddock or to place on feed sold from $83-$130.
Heavy and extra heavy lambs sold to strong demand, with most making $153-$170. Extra heavy lambs were well-supplied, selling from $164-$195, or 569-589c/kg cwt.
Mutton quality improved, with more heavy sheep penned. Merino ewes suitable for the trade were well-supplied and made from $75-$120 to average 429c/kg cwt. Heavy sheep sold to solid demand, with heavy cross bred ewes reaching $140. Heavy wethers made from $124-$138 to average 456c/kg.
Hamilton lambs lift $5-$10
In Victoria at the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 5531 lambs, 243 fewer than last week, and 1656 sheep, 1018 less.
The NLRS said the lamb yarding quality improved, with more finished mostly light trade and medium weight lambs and a few pens of heavy 4 score lambs.
All the regular buyers were present, plus an extra domestic processor who had not attended the sale the last few weeks provided increased competition. Restocker interest was only limited at times.
Demand was stronger for lambs which were $5-$10 dearer. Light weight 2 score lambs sold from $74-$110 and light trade weight 2 and 3 scores made from $106-$120, averaging an estimated 610c/kg cwt. The medium trade weight lambs 3 scores sold from $123-$152, ranging from 620-660c/kg. The heavy 4 score lambs sold from $148-$180, averaging around 605c/kg.
More light and plainer sheep were penned in the mixed offering. Light weight sheep rates remained unchanged, but medium and heavy mutton sold $4-$8 dearer in places. An extra buyer operating on the medium and heavy sheep created a slightly dearer trend.
Light 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $48-$72 and medium mutton 2 and 3 score sold from $70-$102. A line of medium 3 score Merino wethers sold for $86 or around 400c/kg cwt, but the market overall averaged around 380c/kg. Heavy 4 score Merino ewes made up to $114, with the heavier weighted crossbred sheep 3 and 4 score making $100-$128.
Horsham lambs improve $5-$10
At the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, agents yarded 5212 lambs, 168 more than last week, and 1803 sheep, 497 more.
The NLRS said trade weight and heavy lambs were available in reasonable numbers in an average quality yarding. The usual buyers operated strongly in a dearer market, with lambs selling $5-$10 up on last week and more in places.
Light weight 1 and 2 score lambs sold from $82-$110. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $105-$135. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $130-$168, or 560-660c/kg cwt, to average around 620c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $158-$192, with extra heavy export lambs making $189.50-$196.50. Merino lambs mostly sold from $89-$118.
Restocking activity was limited, with restockers paying $126-$146 for Merino ewes with lambs at foot. The sheep offering included all weights and grades that sold to strong competition, with an outstanding pen of shorn Merino wethers estimated at 35-36kg cwt making $153.50.
Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $55 to $89. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep sold from $90-$112, or 390-460c/kg, to average around 420c/kg cwt. Heavy 3 to 5 score sheep sold from $100-$140. Heavy Merino wethers sold from $110-$153.50 and the medium weights sold from $75-$115, or 420-425c/kg. Heavy rams made to $110.
Katanning rates settle without live export competition
In WA at the Katanning saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 2874 lambs, 3913 fewer than last week, and 3000 sheep, 1000 less.
The NLRS said it was a very mixed quality yarding. No live export buyers attended.
New season lambs sold from $35-$60. Light store lambs sold from $15-$38 to average $25. Air freight lambs sold from $60-$100 to average $85. Crossbred lambs weighing 18-22kg cwt made from $92-$128, while similar Merino lambs sold for $89. Merino lambs to restockers sold from $45-$68 to average $57. Young Merino ewes sold to restockers for $65-$85.
Mutton prices were equal, with ewes with a fleece selling to $96. Light ewes sold for $35-$65. The 2 score processor mutton made $46-$70 and the better 3 score mutton sold from $65-$96 to average $81.
Wether prices were easier, with processors paying from $70-$92. Restockers and feeder wethers made $45-$85. Rams prices were easier, with rams selling to processors for $10-$80.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.