Persistent dry weather continues to squeeze producers, who are pushing bigger numbers of light weight lambs into the saleyards.
It was a similar sized market at Wagga on Thursday, with agents selling 33,000 lambs and 12,000 sheep on a week ago. Deteriorating water and feed conditions across southern NSW was blamed by the bigger numbers of store lambs. But while lighter weight and plainer conditioned lambs dominated, rates were supported by strong competition from southern Victorian restockers. Top quality domestic type second cross lambs paid from $120-$149, while other lighter weights made $96-$125.
National Livestock Service noted most of the well finished types comprised mainly of trade weight lambs, with heavy lambs in limited supply. Despite the shortage of heavy lambs, buyers showed little urgency when bidding. Heavy rates were unchanged making from $166-$204 to average 603¢/kg cwt. Trade lambs were firm to a few dollars dearer, making from $128-$163.
A lift in producer confidence created strong prices for secondary lambs at Bendigo on Monday. Prices tracked $3-$5 higher, with very few lambs selling below $81. Well-bred secondary lambs returning to the paddock averaged $113. NLRS said specialist lamb buyers from Ballarat paid to $143 for lambs to turnout. Data from the lamb report shows trade lambs 22.5-24kg consistently sold from $144-$168. Select pens of very neat domestic lambs showing good finish and shape are selling for around 620¢/kg cwt. Heavy lamb were in short supply and rates were unchanged to slightly easier. The mutton market made solid gains of $10-$15, boosted by increased competition and good rains in the north over the weekend.
Despite rain over the weekend, Corowa lamb numbers lifted to 13,346, with 6397 sheep. Buyers were operating at full strength over a top quality offering. Buyers upped the ante for trade lambs and pushed rates $5-$10 higher. The big movers were light trade weight lambs. This meant prices hovered around $129-$142 to average 639kg cwt.
Rain inspired restockers who lifted rates $8-$10. Lighter weights made from $91-$116, while lambs with more weight and frame sold from $110-$125. Prices for mutton surged $9-$17.
At Ballarat on Tuesday, lamb prices lifted as strong demand helped rates break out of their holding pattern. New season trade lambs have defied traditional price patterns that have pushed averages back over 620¢ for lambs weighting 20-22kg. Overall trade lambs sold $3-$6 dearer. Demand for the best heavy lambs improved by a few dollars, selling at $158-$193.