Wagga lambs make $399.20 despite less competition

Sheep Central, October 11, 2021

RLA auctioneer Tim Drum with the $399.20 lambs at Wagga.

A LINE of prime heavy old lambs sold at Wagga Wagga last week has pushed Australia’s record saleyard price to almost $400.

The line of 77 11-12 month-old pure White Suffolk lambs from the Douglas family of Kikoira near the central west town of Ungarie sold through Riverina Livestock Agents for $399.20 to Fletchers International Exports at the Wagga saleyards on Thursday.

RLA auctioneer Tim Drum said the lambs would have dressed at about 44-45kgs carcase weight with a skin valued at about $11-$12 – bringing them out at about 880c/kg cwt. Mr Drum said the lambs were bred and finished by Ashley Douglas and his father Eric, and partner Kristie. The Douglas also sold a second line of 34 lambs for $375 to Fletchers.

Mr Drum said the Douglas lambs were outstanding.

“They were proper lambs.”

Mr Drum said demand is still strong for quality lambs.

“Quality sells well and they were heavy, you don’t see them that heavy very often.”

The National Livestock Reporting Service said Wagga agents yarded 34,000 lambs last Thursday, 6000 more than the week before, and 10,000 sheep, 2100 more.

The NLS said quality across the new season heavy export lambss was fair to very good with the offering of 24,800 lacking weight.

New season trade lambs were well supplied but quality was mixed and due to less fat cover and dryer skins. Store lambs were well supplied offering buyers a very mixed selection of all types. Old extra heavy lamb quality improved notably, and buyers did bid strongly for the heaviest lambs setting a new Australian record of $399.20/head.

Five major processors were absent from the sale leaving a small contingent of buyers operating at the market. The new season lamb market lost some traction due to the reduced buyer activity.

Lambs 22kg to 24kg sold from $200 to $258/head to average 960c/kg cwt. Extra heavy young lambs met patchy demand at times selling from $270 to $310/head to average 964c/kg cwt. There was a mixed selection of young lambs suitable for restockers and feedlots. Lambs with weight and frame sold from $166 to $223/head. Old trade lamb quality was fair with limited drafts well finished. Lambs weighing 22kg to 24kg averaged 904c/kg cwt. A small field of export buyers were in attendance and competed over a better-quality offering to the previous sale. Lambs 26kg to 30kg sold $8/head dearer to average 954c/kg cwt. Big super heavy lambs sold from $303 to $399.20/head.

It was a mixed quality yarding of mutton that was offered to a very small group of buyers. Heavy crossbred ewes sold to weak competition, with very few buyers operating. Heavy ewe mutton averaged 620c to 660c/kg cwt. Trade sheep were in reasonable supply and prices were unchanged to $6/head cheaper averaging 653c/kg cwt.


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