Young lamb prices lost little ground by the end of last week, despite much bigger yardings at some northern centres.
In NSW, sales at Wagga and Griffith combined to offer more than 43,000 lambs.
Prices were firm to slightly softer, but rates held on remarkably well given the dip in quality as the dry season begins to bite.
At Wagga on Thursday, rates were firm to $2 dearer for new season trade lambs. Medium weight made from $128-$152, while heavy trade weights made $147-$165.
Heavy young lambs sold at $160-$170, with the heaviest export lambs making from $172-$185. Restocking lambs continued to sell for lower rates on a carcass weight base, making from 508-600¢/kg cwt. Store lambs with weight and frame averaged $112.70. The mutton market continued to hold firm in a bigger yarding of 11,720. Dry weather appeared to slow restocker demand, which in turn eased the pressure on meat buyers over trade weight classes.
Price trends fluctuated in early lamb trading this week, with numbers rising in the south and easing at northern markets.
Dubbo’s offering of 22,100 lambs on Monday was down almost 8000, while Corowa was also down to 9199 – a fall of 1200.
The smaller yardings are a result of producers struggling to put finish on lambs as the dry impacts on pasture growth.
At Dubbo, bigger numbers of plainer young lambs were forced onto the market comprising of large consignments of store lambs and light weight Merino lambs.
National Lives Stock Reporting Service noted there was only a fair selection of trade lambs, and heavy lambs were not the standard of the previous week lacking weight and yield over some pens. The shortage of well finished trade lambs pushed rates $5-$7 higher to average 630¢/kg cwt.
At Corowa, NLRS said the best quality lines of trade weight lambs received stronger support. Price was up to $4 dearer, making from $132-$165 with the best lambs hitting 657¢/kg cwt. Prices reached $190 for extra heavy young lambs with plenty of lambs selling above $174 to average 614¢/kg cwt.
Numbers at Bendigo increased to 17,928, boosted by large consignments of Dorper and Merino lambs from Ivanhoe, NSW. Lambs from NSW are being pushed out as confidence in the season wanes. NLRS noted the big line of Dorper lambs sold from $76-$96 and the run of Merino lambs with seed infestation sold from $55-$99. The market was relatively unchanged for trade lambs, selling from $132-$164.
At Ballarat, new season trade lambs sold $6-$10 cheaper averaging 590-600¢/kg cwt. Heavy lambs slipped $9 to average 599¢/kg cwt.