Hot weather is leading to a premium for shorn lambs over woolly, as processors continue to search for quality at northern markets.
More woolly lambs are now extremely dry and are being overlooked at times compared to shorn lines. Grains-fed lambs are holding up well in the heat and humidity, with yields reported by buyers to be very good.
The trend was evident at Wagga on Thursday, where young woolly lambs were cheaper in comparison with similar weight lines that were shorn, according to the National Livestock Reporting Service. All this was in setting of cheaper prices across the board for woolly lambs as domestic and export processors became more selective, particularly those lambs weighing from 21-25kg.
Some grades were up to $5 cheaper at Wagga with restocker types ranging from $5-$10 cheaper selling to $123. Processor competition improved for shorn trade lambs, with medium and heavy lambs making 629c- 643c/kg cwt.
Sales were red hot in the mutton run. Lamb prices sold to mixed price trends in opening sales on Monday. At Corowa, prices continued to ease with bidding from processors and restockers at lower levels.
Hotter weather appeared to slow store buyer demand, which in turn eased the pressure on light export bag lambs. The average price for lighter weight store lambs dipped $6, with most selling from $85-$122. Light lambs destined for Middle Eastern countries sold from $97-$126.20. There were some noticeable price corrections for woolly trade lambs of up to $11, making from $128-$155. Shorn trade lambs were unchanged to a few dollars easier, averaging 602c/kg carcass weight.
Victoria’s two key selling centres at Hamilton and Bendigo had reasonable offerings and, combined, offered more than 41,000 lambs. Prices held well given the lift in supply.
Hamilton lamb prices sold either side of firm, with the market gathering pace midway through the sale due to a lift in quality. Trade lambs sold from $115-$162 to average 595c/kg cwt. Heavy lambs were well supplied making from $160-$200.
At Bendigo, rates were similar to a few dollars dearer, with well-presented shorn lambs attracting the strongest bidding. Trade lambs topped at $168, with the shorn portion averaging 657c/kg cwt. Heavy lambs sold from $158-$186
Heavy lambs at Ballarat ignited the bidding, with the best pens selling $5-$10 dearer. The heaviest drafts made from $202-$222, while other sales ranged from $160-$201 averaging 630c/kg cwt. Trade lambs were well supplied selling a few dollars dearer to average 618c/kg cwt. Mutton prices surged $11-$14.