Trade lamb prices under pressure, but light weights are in demand

Sheep Central December 9, 2016
These August-September drop White Suffolk cross lambs, 14.2kg cwt, sold for $100 at Bundarra, NSW, on AuctionsPlus yesterday.

These August-September drop White Suffolk cross lambs, 14.2kg cwt, sold for $100 at Bundarra, NSW, on AuctionsPlus yesterday.

TRADE lambs continued to come under price pressure in some saleyards mid-week as the southern turn-off began to peak, with almost 60,000 lambs yarded at Hamilton.

Restocker demand continued to generally underpin light and light trade lamb prices, forcing processors to lift their rates in some centres. Heavy lamb prices also generally eased, but less so for quality shorn lines in some centres.

After Thursday’s saleyard sales, the National Livestock Reporting Service quoted all lamb categories as firm to lower. The NLRS Eastern States Daily Indicators are: restocker 605c/kg, down 12 cents; Merino 474c/kg, down 24c; light 572c/kg, down 3c; trade 515c/kg, no change and heavy, 507c/kg, down 1c. The national trade lamb indicator lost 2 cents to 514c/kg and the heavy indice fell 1 cent to 507c/kg.

The mutton ESDI and national indicator both fell to 383c/kg.

Carcoar’s light lambs lift $5

In New South Wales at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange on Wednesday, the agents yarded 9300 lambs, 300 fewer than last week, and 4200 sheep, 1100 more.

The NLRS said it was a pretty good quality yarding with a good selection of new season lambs for processors and store buyers. The old lamb quality was only fair.

Light weight lambs sold $5 dearer to processors, with the 12-18kg 2 scores selling from $68-$105. Trade lambs were firm, with the new season lambs making $100-$136, averaging around 520c/kg. Trade weight old lambs sold from $95-$125. The very limited supply of heavy weight lambs sold a little dearer with the new season lines selling to $155 and the old lambs to $148. Trade weight Merino lambs sold made $98-$105. Restockers were very active, paying to $116. Hoggets sold to $110.

It was a very mixed quality yarding of sheep. Most mutton grades were $4-$9 cheaper. The 2 score ewes sold from $52-$77. The better 3 and 4 score Merinos made $77-$104 and the crossbreds sold to $113. Full wool Merino wethers sold to $119.

Yass young lambs to $155

Bec Boothman and Jock Duncombe of Duncombe & Co Livestock sold these crossbred lambs for Daniel Hewitt 'Harold Park', Lost River Wheeo for $156 at SELX Yass.

Bec Boothman and Jock Duncombe of Duncombe & Co Livestock sold these crossbred lambs for Daniel Hewitt ‘Harold Park’, Lost River Wheeo for $156 at SELX Yass.

At the South Eastern Livestock Exchange at Yass on Wednesday, the agents offered a record yarding of 32,979 sheep and lambs.

Garrard & Partners Livestock agent Mark Jolliffe said good, heavy suckers sold fully firm to a couple of dollars dearer, from $140-$155. Middle weight lambs were $3-5 cheaper at $115-130. Lambs returning to the paddock were firm on last week at $90-115.

Heavy sheep were firm to $3 cheaper at $100-125. Medium weight sheep are still selling stronger, while light weight boning ewes were also strongly sought after, with re-stockers also showing plenty of interest.

New season lambs sold to $155 and averaged $110.66 and old lambs made to $144 and averaged $88.08. Crossbred lambs sold to $156 and averaged $110.57.

Hoggets made to $123 and averaged $95.77. Merino wethers sold to $114 and averaged $90.83. Crossbred ewes sold to $179 and averaged $114.95. Merino ewes made to $123 and averaged $94.63.

Wagga’s trade lambs $5-$9 cheaper

At the Wagga saleyards on Thursday, the agents yarded 26,000 lambs, 3000 more than last week, and 10,000 sheep, 4000 more.

The NLRS said it was a very mixed quality yarding, with full wool lambs presenting dry and lacking finish. There were reasonable numbers of shorn lambs across trade and heavy categories, which buyers preferred. Light weight lambs again attracted a large field of restockers and lot feeders. The usual export and domestic buyers attended.

New season trade lambs sold $5-$9 cheaper, with not all buyers keen to make purchases. The general run of trade lambs sold from $108-$137, averaging 502-528c/kg. Store lambs were keenly contested, with the lighter weights selling from $89-$117. Lambs suitable to feed on averaged $114.60.

Heavy lambs were in short supply, with shorn lambs attracting the best competition. Shorn heavy lambs eased back $1 and extra heavy shorn lambs sold $2-$3 cheaper. Most heavy lambs averaged 537c/kg. Unshorn heavy lambs were discounted by up to $11 to average 496c/kg.

The good quality yarding of mutton offered buyers plenty of weight. Trade sheep sold $3-$6 dearer from 354-384c/kg. Heavy crossbred ewes made $86-$119. Heavy Merino sheep sold at $86-$121, averaging 322c/kg.

Hamilton lambs average firm

In Victoria at the Hamilton saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 57,641 lambs, 12,013 more than last week.

The NLRS said the Hamilton selling centre was at capacity with lambs spilling into the cattle yards, laneways and holding pens. More processor buyers attended and increased restocker interest came from south eastern South Australia and north western Victoria.

Early lamb prices were generally equal to firm for medium weights, but sales eased just slightly to be $1-$2 easier. Prices lifted later in the sale, ending up firm compared with last Wednesday.

The heavy lambs sold $3-$5 dearer and light weight lambs continued to be in high demand selling firm up to $5 higher. The quality of the trade and heavy lambs ranged from average to excellent, with some signs of dryness in skins. Many drafts of light lambs were mostly sold in the 90 cattle yard pens.

Restockers paid $78-$105 for light lambs at 590-747c/kg and also paid $109-$122 for medium weight well-bred 2 and 3 score store lambs. Light weight 2 score lambs sold to processors for $96-$109, averaging 640c/kg. Light 2 and 3 score trade weights sold from $103-$116, averaging 575c/kg. Medium trade weight 3 scores sold from $110-$133 and heavier 3 and 4 score trade weights made $124-$140, or 473-541c/kg, to average an estimated 500c/kg. Heavy weight 3 and 4 score lambs made $135-$175 and the extra heavy 4 scores sold from $169-$181, averaging close to 510c/kg. A pen of 3 score Merino hoggets, sold for $140 at 430c/kg.

Horsham lambs sell firm

At the Horsham saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 6095 lambs, 126 more than last week, and 3394 sheep, 596 more.

The NLRS said lamb quality was average to good, with good numbers of all weights and grades. Most of the regular buyers operated in the generally firm lamb market. A few grass seeds are starting to appear on unshorn young lambs.

Heavy lambs made to $158. The heavier trade weights sold from $124-$133 at around 500c/kg. Lamb restockers paid mostly from $84-$117.50 and up to $113 for shorn young lambs.

Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $100-$114 and averaged around 530c/kg. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs made $112.50-$125. Heavier weights sold from $124-$133, 480-515c/kg, to average around 500c/kg. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $141-$158. Heavy hoggets sold to $112.

Restockers paid from $138-$143 for Merino ewes. The sheep offering included all weights and grades, with plenty of weight in the crossbred ewes. Sheep sold to keen competition to be either side of firm.

Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $41-$80. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep made $78-$122, or 350-460c/kg. Merino mutton averaged around 410c/kg. Heavy Merino ewes sold from $101-$122. Heavy Merino wethers made $110-$124, with the medium weights selling from $90-$96.50. The heavier Merino sheep averaged around 410c/kg. Heavy crossbred sheep made $95-$126. Heavy rams made to $110.

Mt Gambier lamb prices ease

In South Australia at the Mt Gambier saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 13,672 lambs, 1248 more than last week, and 1332 sheep, 665 more.

The NLRS said the usual trade and processor buyers were active, along with several restocker orders. Quality was good, with large numbers of heavy lambs with well-presented skins; however, some lambs are starting to show signs of dryness in the wool.

Prices eased, with light weight lambs selling to the trade for $76-$108. Light weight 2 and 3 score types made $109-$118. A number of restocker orders paid from $50-$118 for lambs.

Trade weight 3 score lambs sold from $108-$128, falling by up to $4. Heavy lambs ranged from $122-$140 with a similar drop in price. Extra heavy types made $138-$174, a drop of $4-$6. Hoggets sold from $90-$113. Light weight ewes sold to $75. Medium weight ewes made $80-$104 and the heavy lines sold from mainly $104-$128. All ewes sold $5-$7 easier. Wethers sold to $120 and rams made to $100.

Katanning trade lambs sell to $93

In Western Australia at the Katanning saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 4699 lambs, 1108 fewer than last week, and 10,000 sheep, 1000 less.

The NLRS said it was mainly a good quality yarding at Katanning. The usual buyers attended.

The yarding was dominated by lambs, with heavy lambs selling to $119. Light weight lambs sold $2 cheaper at $64-$85. Trade weight lambs made $70-$93. Heavy lambs sold to $119. Feeder buyers paid from $35 for the very light lambs and up to $119 for the heavy drafts.

Graziers bidding strongly on young ewes, paying from $55 for young blue tag ewes up to $98 for better quality ewes. Mutton prices remained firm, with light weight ewes making $45-$71. Prime 3 and 4 score mutton sold from $54 up to $112 for those with a full fleece. Store ewes sold very strongly, from $50 up to $80 for lines with a full fleece. Wethers sold to processors for $72-$88. Restockers and feeder buyers paid $39 for very light wethers and up to $108 for large framed types with a full fleece. Ram lambs sold for $40-$105 depending on size, while the older rams sold for $10-$45 depending on age.

Warwick lambs firm to dearer

In Queensland at the Warwick saleyards on Wednesday, the agents yarded 2034 lambs and hoggets, and 490 sheep.

The lamb market was quoted firm to a shade dearer for larger yarding of lambs and the mutton market was firm for the smaller yarding of sheep.

The to-priced lamb weighing 60.8kg lwt made $158 for PT Millard of ‘Saddleview’, Clifton.

Crossbred lambs 51-55kg lwt sold from $132-$156.50, the 46-50kg lambs made $126-$140, 41-45kg lines sold for $120-$129 and 35-40kg lambs made $94-$110. Shorn crossbred hoggets 46kg lwt sold to $87.

Trade wethers with $12 skins sold to $ 115.00, or 335c/kg cwt, and light wethers with $4 skins made to $66, or 295c/kg.

Heavy crossbred ewes with $10 skins sold to $107, or 320c/kg, and light lines with $8 skins made to $60, or 275c/kg.

Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.


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