WA sheep producers with old NVDs hit by $15-$20 discounts

Terry Sim, January 13, 2016

SHEEP producers trying to sell stock with old National Vendor Declarations in Western Australia this week have been hit by discounts of up to $20 on mutton and $15 at the Muchea saleyards.

The National Livestock Reporting Service said the inclusion of lambs with invalid NVD declarations created an erratic market at Muchea on Tuesday and some lamb drafts were discounted by up to $15.

The Muchea ewe price fall of $5-15 was largely blamed on invalid declarations with some sheep drafts discounted by up to $20.

The NLRS market reporter estimates at Muchea have sounded a warning of the discounts farmers risk nationally by attempting to sell sheep and lambs with out-of-date NVDs.

SAFEMEAT has been advising the industry for months that all non-current forms of the Livestock Production Assurance National Vendor Declaration (LPA NVD) will no longer be accepted after November 16 2015.

All NVD versions other than the current version labelled 0413 are being phased out. A current NVD is needed for any future movements of all LPA accredited livestock (sheep, lambs, goats and cattle), including property to property, through saleyards, direct to processors, feedlots, and to the live export trade. The current LPA NVD for bobby calves is version 0412 and was released in 2012.

Elders livestock sales manager for Western Australia Tom Marron said discounting because of old NVDs had been going on for months, despite reminders by agents to producers to update their declaration books.

“That’s Australia-wide, it is just not here.”

Western Australian Meat Industry Authority support services manager Dave Saunders said export buyers have been discounting stock with old NVDs at the Muchea saleyards for weeks.

“For whatever reason it has come to the fore this week.

“The processors have elected not to purchase sheep from vendors who haven’t supplied a current NVD.”

The Australian Meat Industry Council’s national processing director Steve Martyn said it was an industry-wide agreement to accept only current NVDs.

“The rationale behind that is a very important market access one.”

Producers can order a new hard-copy LPA NVD booklet online, or purchase electronic LPA NVDs, at Producers may also call the LPA Helpdesk on 1800 683 111 to purchase hard copy LPA NVD books.

NLRS slaughter lamb indicators firm

Despite larger lamb yardings across eastern Australia and price drops for trade and heavy lambs in many saleyards, the NLRS Eastern States Daily Indicators for the main slaughter categories only dropped 1 cent on Tuesday.

Processors found quality trade and heavy lambs hard to source in most saleyards. After Tuesday’s saleyard sales, the lamb ESDIs were: restocker 520c/kg, no change; Merino 469c/kg, up 1c; light 483c/kg, down 5c; trade 521c/kg, down 1c; heavy 531c/kg, down 1. The National trade lamb indicator closed on 520c/kg, down 1 cent, and the heavy indice is on 531c/kg, also down 1 cent.

The national indicator and ESDI for mutton both closed up 7 cents to 313c/kg.

Dubbo’s heavy lambs lift $13

In New South Wales at the Dubbo saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 15,280 lambs, 5650 more than last week, and 7700 sheep, 3630 more.

The NLRS said it was a fair quality yarding, with only a few lines of top heavy weight lambs, limited numbers of ideal trade weights and a large percentage of White Dorpers. Light weight lambs sold firm to processors, with the 12-18kg 2 scores making $63-$94. Trade lambs were firm to $2 cheaper, with the 18-22kg 3 scores selling from $93-$130. Heavy weight lambs were up to $13 dearer, with the over 22kg 4 scores making $124-$172, or 545-560c/kg cwt. Merino lambs sold firm, with trade weights selling from $75-$111. Restockers paid to $85 for lambs and hoggets sold to $124.

It was generally a good quality sheep yarding with a mix of grades. Most grades were $11-$13 dearer. The 2 score ewes sold from $40-$69. The better 3 and 4 score crossbreds made $60-$108 and Merinos with longer wool sold to $120. The 3 and 4 score Merino wethers sold from $74-$98.

Tamworth’s heavy lambs fall $7-$12, trades down $8-$9

At the Tamworth saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 5930 lambs, 4630 more than last week, and 5000 sheep, 3800 more.

The NLRS said the quality and condition of the lambs was very mixed in the largest yarding offered at the saleyards. There was a good supply of well-finished trade and heavyweight crossbred lambs. Lightweight crossbred and Merino lambs in plainer condition were also well-supplied. The usual processor orders were in place and there was increase restocker competition. Supply outweighed demand for trade and heavyweight lambs resulting in cheaper trends.

The good quality trade weight young lambs were down by $8-$9, while the heavier weights were down by $7-$12. Restockers were active on good quality crossbred lambs, but no comparison could be made to the previous sale. The market trend was similar for trade and heavyweight old lambs, down by $8-$12, with quality once again contributing-price change.

Restockers were active on young Merino ewes, but no comparison could be made. A large percentage of the sheep offering were lightweights, with a fair supply of well-finished medium and heavyweights. Market trends were also cheaper, lightweights by $3-$5 with medium and heavyweights by $1-$3. Price per head values saw some variation, due to a large difference in skin values in some categories.

Forbes lamb prices firm to $2 higher

At the Forbes saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 24,250 lambs, 9670 more than last week, and 9250 sheep, 7076 more.

The NLRS said lamb quality was mixed, with some good lines of well-finished lambs, but an increased percentage of plainer lambs. The usual buyers competed in a fairly steady market. Light lambs held firm to average $94. Trade weights held steady with prices ranging from $102-$130. Heavy and extra heavyweight lambs were firm to $2 better, though the lambs had more weight than those in the previous sale. Heavy lambs sold from $125-$139 and extra heavyweights made $135-$178. Carcase prices averaged from 497-533c/kg cwt.

The sheep were mostly Merinos and quality was fair. Prices lifted, with Merino ewes selling from $70-$109. Crossbreds made $70-$111. Merino wethers sold from $76-$120.

Bendigo’s trade and export lambs lift $2-$5

In Victoria at the Bendigo saleyards on Monday, the agents yarded 20,316 lambs, 7295 more than last week, and 5798 sheep, 1494 more.

The NLRS said the dry season was reflected in the lamb yarding, with most lacking fat cover and in plain condition. All the regular buyers attended, but not all processors made purchases. Bidding fluctuated, with the sale opening softer, then improving, before losing momentum again. It meant some lambs were dearer than a week ago, while others were similar to cheaper.

Overall, the better quality export and trade weight shorn lambs averaged firm to $2-$5 stronger. The market reached a top of $170 for a small pen of extra heavy shorn lambs at over 30kgc/wt. There was only one sale over $170. The lead drafts of heavy shorn lambs, 26-30kg cwt, sold from $145-$166. The best pens of trade weight lambs, 22-24kg, mostly ranged from $120-$136. Estimated carcase rates for these better quality slaughter lambs ranged from 500-555c/kg cross the sale, to average around 520-530c/kg. Secondary and lighter weight lambs sold to slaughter mostly made from $85-$112 at an estimated 490-510c/kg for most. The sale included a high percentage of small and lightweight store lambs. The smallest shorn lambs, less than 12kg cwt, were dearer at $37-$73 and averaged over 600c/kg cwt. Bigger store lambs showing more frame and weight were mostly firm in price at $80-$103. A feedlot order operated at the top end of the store lambs, while there was competition from Forbes in NSW, Echuca, Yarrawonga, Birchip and the local Bendigo area on smaller store lambs.

The mutton sale was dearer, with exporters showing greater demand for heavier sheep compared to a week ago. Heavy first cross ewes sold from $85-$106 and recorded the best price gains of up to $20 on last week. The main lines of Merino wethers benefitted from a store order and sold to $100, with reports they will be shorn and prepared for live export. Most mutton was estimated as costing processors 285- 320c/kg cwt, to average around 300c/kg.

Ballarat lambs $5-$10 cheaper

At the Ballarat saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 29,700 lambs, 6929 more than last week, and 14,700 sheep, 7746 more.

The NLRS said the lamb selection was better than last week with much of the trade, heavy and extra heavy weights of good to very good quality. A near-full field of buyers attended and most operated fully but prices were cheaper.

Generally $5-$10 was taken off last week’s prices for plain to average quality lambs and restocker purchases, but some of the better quality trade and heavy weights were closer to unchanged. The lamb yarding provided a near-even mix of light, trade and heavy weights for processors. Restockers also had plenty to choose from. More than half the lamb offering was shorn. The 2 score light weight lambs sold from $68-$87 and restockers paid from $58-$95. Most 2 and 3 score light weight trade lambs sold from $80-$95 and averaged 480c/kg cwt. Restockers paid up to $110. The medium to heavy weight 3 and 4 score lambs made $90-$120 and averaged 510c/kg cwt. Heavy 4 score lambs sold from $121-$148 and extra heavy weights made $141-$173 for weights up to an estimated 33kgs cwt. Heavy weight 4 score lambs sold from 480c-550c/kg cwt.

Processors were provided with sheep of all weights and grades. Prices were mostly $5-$10 higher throughout the sale. The light weight 1 and 2 scores sold from $35-$64 and longer wool Merino ewes made to $77. The 2 and 3 score medium weight sheep made $55-$85 and longer wool Merino ewes sold to $93. Heavy and extra heavy 3-5 score ewes sold from $74-$108.

Dublin’s heavy lambs ease $10-$17

At the South Australian Livestock Exchange on Tuesday, the agents yarded 7000 lambs, 1539 more than last week, and 3000 sheep, 625 more.

The NLRS said the lamb yarding featured many supplementary fed drafts that sold to easing trade and processor demand. One major processor was absent, but there was some limited supermarket input. Feeders and restockers operated cautiously and concentrated on heavier shorn lambs.

Light weight crossbred lambs sold to feeder buyers for $80-$96 and heavier crossbred lambs to feed on made $100-$110. Light weight 3 score crossbreds sold to trade buyers eased $5 to $97-$112, to average 483c/kg. Light trade weight 4 scores eased $11 to $100-$114, averaging 473c/kg. Heavy trade weights eased $6 to $112-$135, to average 501c/kg. Heavy weight 4 scores eased $10-$17 and sold from 497-505c/kg. Light weight Merino lambs sold to restockers for $48-$84 and those bought by processors eased $8 to $77-$88. Trade weights eased $4 to $93-$115, or 414-433c/kg. Heavy weight lambs sold from $112-$135, to average 439c/kg. Hoggets were plentiful, with heavy weight Merinos making $91-$108 and crossbreds $106-$125.

The mixed quality sheep sold to stronger competition from the usual processors. Substantial restocker bidding helped propel prices upward. Lower Murray and Yorke Peninsula restockers were keen to secure ewes and paid $50-$92. Light weight 2 score ewes bought by processors lifted only marginally to $55-$73, averaging 236c/kg. Heavy weight 3 score ewes lifted $7 to $70-$114, averaging 262c/kg. Wethers were scarce and the few heavy weights sold from $75-$106. Heavy weight rams sold to $56.

Naracoorte sheep prices lift $10

At the Naracoorte saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 2384 lambs, 91 more than last week, and 2151 sheep, 468 more.

The NLRS said more trade and processor buyers were active, but good quality lambs were hard to find with the effects of the dry season showing in nearly all pens. Restockers were also active throughout the offering.

Lightweight lambs sold to the trade for $99. Lightweight trade 2 and 3 score lambs made $95-$107. Restockers were active and purchased lambs to turn out for $39-$97. Trade weight 3 score lambs ranged from $103-$123 at an average of 525c/kg cwt, $4 easier than last week. Only a few heavy 4 score lambs came forward and they ranged from $116-$138, to be firm on last week.

Some good quality sheep came forward and these improved in price by up to $10. Hoggets ranged from $80-$100 and Merino wethers made $50-$67.

Lightweight 1 and 2 score crossbred ewes ranged from $30-$36. Medium weighted crossbred ewes ranged from $52-$77 and similar Merino ewes mostly sold from $62-$86, with one pen of restocking Merino ewes making $94. These ewes averaged 290c/kg cwt. Heavy 3 and 4 score ewes ranged mainly from $76-$88, with one sale of Merino ewes at $111. Most ewe prices were $8-$10 better than last week. Rams sold to $66.

Muchea prices hit by invalid declarations

In Western Australia at the Muchea saleyards on Tuesday, the agents yarded 5800 lambs, 1270 fewer than last week, and 7370 sheep, 1041 more.

The NLRS said the lamb yarding included about 2300 prime trade and heavy lambs. There were good numbers of light weight, store and very light store Merino lambs.

Prices for lambs sold to processors remained close to firm, but the inclusion of lambs with invalid declarations created an erratic market and saw some drafts sold at $15 discounts. Very light lamb sold to restockers for $10-$64 and Merino drafts made $10-$50, to be close to firm overall. Light lamb suitable for feeders and air freight processors remained firm at $52-$93. Trade weight drafts sold from $75-$114 with the prime drafts averaging close to 500c/kg and plainer drafts around 450c/kg. Heavy lambs sold to a top of $128.

Mutton quality and weight was mixed, with some excellent drafts of heavy weight ewes available. Wether and ram supplies were moderate. Processors and restockers were active but live export buyers were not operating.

Mutton sales were also heavily impacted by invalid declarations with overall prices back $10 and discounts on invalid declaration drafts of up to $20. Ewe prices were cheaper by $5-$15 with invalid declarations responsible for most of the decrease. Light weight and conditioned ewes made $2-$46, back around $7. The 2 score processor drafts sold from $10-$65 and were also back by $9 to around 210c/kg cwt. Better conditioned and heavy weight ewes sold from $40-$75, with most cheaper by more than $10. Restockers were able to purchase ewes with invalid declarations at up to a $20 discount at $20-$75, back close to $7 overall. Young ewes made $27-$70, with most going to restockers at slightly easier prices.

Wether and ram prices fell $10, with very limited demand evident. Export weight wethers made $70-$80 and a few carrying good skins sold to $90. Store wethers made $40-$70 and were at least $7 cheaper. Quality ram lambs made $60-$100 and young drafts sold to export feeders for $15-$55. Old rams sold to processors for $5-$30.

Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.


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