SLAUGHTER lamb prices surged in saleyards mid-week, driven by domestic processor and exporter demand for tightening quality supplies after recent rain.
More lambs made more than 600c/kg cwt in New South Wales and Victoria, as light lamb prices lifted up to $7 in New South Wales and $4-$10 in Victoria.
Trade lamb prices rose $9-$14 in NSW and $3-$10 in Victoria, amid concerns of tight supplies.
Heavy lambs were also dearer, rising $12 at Carcoar. At Wagga Wagga, extra heavy lambs over 30kg cwt sold from $174-$209.20, or 469-563c/kg. This as the second centre this week at which buyers paid $200 or more for lambs, after similar weight lines made $182-$200, or 512-534c/kg at Ballarat on Tuesday.
NLRS lamb indicators jump sharply
The depth of processor demand for lambs mid-week was highlighted by the improvements in the National Livestock Reporting Service’s national and Eastern States Daily Indicators for trade and heavy lamb yesterday.
After Thursday’s saleyard sales, the ESDIs for lamb were: restocker, 535c/kg, down 8 cents; Merino 514c/kg, up 16c; light 543c/kg, up 7c; trade 560c/kg, up 18c; heavy 555c/kg, up 13c. The national trade lamb indicator rose 20 cents to 560c/kg and the heavy indice climbed 14 cents to 554c/kg.
The ESDI for mutton rose 3 cents to 3438c/kg and the national indice closed 3 cents higher on 364c/kg.
Carcoar trade lambs lift $12-$14
In New South Wales at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange at Carcoar on Wednesday, the agents yarded 6250 lambs, 250 fewer than last week, and 3400 sheep, 700 less.
The NLRS said it was a good quality yarding with a good selection of heavy and trade weight lambs. All the regular buyers competed in the solid market. Light weight lambs sold $7 dearer to processors, with the 12-18kg 2 scores making $69-$110. Trade lambs were $12-$14 dearer, with the 18-23kg 3 scores selling from $103-$148, to average 580c/kg cwt. Heavy weight lambs were $12 dearer, with the over 22kg 4 scores selling from $143-$186, averaging 587c/kg. Restockers paid to $122 and hoggets sold to $129.
Most grades were represented in the fair quality sheep yarding. It was another strong market, with most sections lifting by $8-$11. The 2 score ewes sold from $42-$78. Better 3 and 4 score crossbreds sold from $72-$125 and Merinos made $100. Merino wethers in full wool sold to $125.
Wagga’s trade lambs improve $9-$14
At the Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 34,500 lambs, 7500 fewer than last week, and 8550 sheep, 750 less.
The NLRS said the reduced yarding helped fuel well-finished lamb prices. Demand increased for heavy export lambs following wet weather and tighter supplies at other selling centres.
All major export and domestic processors operated fully due to concerns of tightening supplies. Trade lambs benefited from stronger bidding from major domestic processors for shorter skinned supplementary-fed lambs.
Restockers were very selective when making purchases due to the perennial problem of lambs cutting teeth. Well-finished supplementary-fed trade lambs were keenly sought, and there was a clear price distinction between grass-finished pens.
Generally trade lambs sold $9-$14 dearer, due to increased demand from major domestic processors. Trade lambs generally made from 573-589c/kg cwt, but there were plenty of sales above 600c/kg. Merino trade lambs attracted premium prices regardless of skin length. Southern export processors had the greatest influence over the lighter weight categories, with lambs sold to slaughter averaging around 557c/kg. Restockers stepped away from the market, with only a handful of pens returning to the paddock at $66-$89.
Heavy and extra heavy lamb numbers were reasonable, and supply and bidding was stronger from the commencement of the sale. Heavy lambs sold from $146-$163, to average 567c/kg. Supply pressure built as the market progressed for the extra heavy pens, as buyers scrambled to fill loads. The better finished heavy pens sold at $170-$209.20, or 520-567c/kg.
The mixed quality offering of mutton included all weights and grades. Heavy crossbred ewes made $96-$140, to average 362c/kg. Demand strengthened for Merino ewes with fleeces 5cm and longer, pushing prices $4-$9 higher. Trade sheep sold to spirited bidding at $71-$116, or 357-402c/kg cwt.
Horsham lambs $5-$10 dearer
In Victoria at the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 7943 lambs, 3097 more than last week, and 1112 sheep, 48 fewer.
The NLRS said lamb quality was very good and most regular buyer operated in the dearer market.
Lambs sold $5-$10 dearer than last week. Heavy lambs made to $190 and the better trade weights, mostly off feed, sold from $130-$149, at around 570c/kg. About 1500 Merino lambs sold to strong demand, with the heavier end making to $135 and the medium weights selling from $81-$121. Restockers and feeders were keen and paid $92-$115 for lambs. Lighter trade weight 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $94-$124, averaging around 560c/kg. Light weight 2 score Merino lambs sold to $80.
Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $120-$139, with the heavier drafts selling from $130-$149, or 540-595c/kg, to average around 565-570c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $147-$180 and the extra heavy export lambs made $186-$190. Heavy Merino lambs sold from $120-$135.50, with the medium weights making $81-$121. Lighter Merino lots sold from $63-$94 and averaged around 520-530c/kg.
The sheep yarding included some good runs of near-full wool Merino ewes. Most sold up to $10 dearer. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $48-$71.50. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep made $69-$120, with the Merino mutton averaging around 370c/kg. Heavy 35 score sheep made $85-$108, with medium weight Merino wethers selling to $84.50, or around 345c/kg. Restockers paid $114 for 5 year-old, March shorn, joined Merino ewes. Rams sold from $48-$97.
Hamilton’s light store lambs lift $4-$10, trades up $3-$7
At the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 5567 lambs, 1128 more than last week, and 3197 sheep, 243 more.
The NLRS said lamb quality varied from good to plain in an overall mixed yarding. The regular buyers attended, determined to fill orders in the dearer market.
Heavy and medium trade weight lambs sold $3-$7 higher. Prices were firm to $4-$10 dearer for very light store types. Restocking lambs sold for $33-$82, mostly to a South Australian agent. Light weight 2 score lambs made $76-$104 and light trade weights sold from $95-$113, averaging close to 590c/kg. Medium trade 3 score lambs made $108-$127, or 529-606c/kg, averaging an estimated 560c/kg. Heavy trade lambs 3 and 4 score made $134-$146. Extra heavy 4 score lambs sold from $155-$181.
Sheep also sold to stronger demand, with most sales $4-$10 dearer, especially for lighter weight and heavy export mutton. Light sheep made $27-$54 and medium weight 23 scores sold from $68-$87. Merino mutton averaged 350c/kg. Heavy crossbred sheep made $81-$120, averaging around 320c/kg cwt. Merino wethers, 2 and 3 score, sold from $69-$98 and averaged 360c/kg. The best of the rams sold from $65-$90.
Store lambs dominate Katanning yarding
In Western Australia at the Katanning saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 5000 lambs, 3500 fewer than last week, and 7168 sheep, 867 less.
The NLRS said store lambs dominated the mixed quality yarding.
Light weight lamb prices eased to $60-$79, but trade lambs remained firm at $91-$107. Heavy lambs sold from $107-$115. Lambs suitable for airfreight made $60-$89. Feeders paid from $35 for light store crossbred lambs and up to $110 for the better quality lines. Light Merino store lambs made from $34 up to $88 for the heavier better framed types.
Young quality red tag ewes sold for $84 to restockers. Light ewes made $35-$54 and those with a fleece sold to slaughter for $60-$87. Prime score 3 and 4 heavy sheep sold from $62-$94.
Young light wethers made $40 and heavier better quality lines made up to $105. Very light ram lambs sold for $20 and the heavier better lines made to $103. Older rams sold for $50 to restockers, but only made $5-$20 with processors.
Warwick lambs dearer
In Queensland at the Warwick saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 1342 lambs and hoggets, and 708 sheep.
The market was quoted dearer for all descriptions in the similar yarding of lambs and larger offering of sheep. The top-priced lambs made $150 for Chinchilla producers E.L. and S.F. Beard.
Crossbred lambs 51-55lg lwt sold from $129-$150, the 46-50kg lambs made $132-$145, 41-45kg lines sold for $120-$140 and the 35-40kg lambs made $94-$118.
Shorn crossbred hoggets, 65kg lwt, sold to $89. Trade wethers with $8 skins made $80, or 320c/kg cwt, and light wethers with $6 skins made to $41, or 305c/kg. Heavy crossbred ewes with $7 skins sold to $89, or 315c/kg, and light ewes with $5 skins made $50, or 235c/kg.
Source: MLA, NLRS AuctionsPlus.