Mutton prices were propelled back towards the 500c/g carcass weight mark late last week and prices continued their higher rates across NSW last week, where reduced sheep offerings at most centres dictated a stronger market and cemented a floor in prices.
The bulk of the yardings over past weeks has largely been a representation of medium and heavy weight lines with plain sheep in short supply despite the dry conditions.
At Wagga the National Livestock Reporting Service (NLRS) reported stronger demand for heavy and medium weight sheep irrespective of weight or wool length.
This resulted in a higher price trend from the previous week’s dearer market of $7-$13 Heavy Merino ewes weighing 30kg and with a $45 skin, reached a top price of $160. Light sheep hovered from 430-490c/kg cwt
Lamb prices hold above 615c/kg cwt for main types of processor grades in early trade.
The eastern states market indicator closed at 619ckg for trade lambs and 615c for heavy lambs on Monday, up slightly from the end of the week. Restocker categories are trending dearer than a year ago, averaging 677c which is 78c/kg better.
Price variations and quality affected rates at Bendigo in a reduced offering of 16,611 lambs and 8890 sheep.
The National Livestock Reporting Service noted bidding was strongest for new season lambs from the Kilmore, Pyalong and Yea regions, which lifted rates by $3-$7.
The best trade weight lambs to supermarkets averaged 621c with some sales spiking to 650c/kg cwt.
Rates reached a top price of $199 for heavy young lambs estimated to weigh 30kg cwt with the bulk of heavy lambs selling from $164-$188.
Secondary lambs continued to benefit from plenty of store orders with some big lines of one mark lambs showing dearer trends of $3.
In the mutton sale northern processors dictated market trends pushing rates $12-$18 higher. Heavy Merino ewes sold to $159 and crossbred ewes topped $155.
The bulk of the offering sold over $100 with light weight sheep bursting through the 500c/kg cwt barrier.
Numbers were up by 1873 to 33,477 at Ballarat.
Spring lamb quality was outstanding with all weights and grades on offer. Spirited bidding boosted trade rates by $6-$8 to average 622c/kg cwt. Extra heavy lambs sold to $206 averaging 616c/kg.
Restocker competition was strong with well-bred second cross lambs making from $115-$133. Meanwhile mutton prices jumped $10-$30 to average 457c/kg cwt.
Light mutton topped at $110 with other sales ranging from $52-$100