Lamb prices have gained more ground despite big numbers at some centres.
Some exciting price gains were recorded for heavy lambs as prices nudged last week’s record at Wagga.
Price surges of $5-$10 were achieved as processors searched for well finished lambs in trade and heavy weight categories. Restockers pushed prices for suitable young lambs to similar levels in NSW, outlaying an average of $129.20 for lambs weighing 18kg carcass weight. Demand for secondary stock is so intense that the bulk of the plainer lighter weight categories are selling above $100.
At Wagga on Thursday, more heavy export lambs sold above $200 than under. Bidding intensified with plenty of heavy lambs hitting the magic 700¢/kg cwt mark.
The bulk of the heavy lambs made from $180-$250.20. The best money paid for trade lambs was $182 for the shorn portion to average 682¢/kg cwt. Fresh new season sucker lambs from the Monaro region sold generally from $145-$180.
The exception to the dearer trend was sheep, which were quoted by the National Livestock Reporting Service $11-$25 cheaper. Heavy sheep made from $111-$138, averaging 387-405¢/kg cwt. Trade sheep sold to fluctuating price trends, making from $92-$127. Restocker competed strongly for young ewes paying from $118-$128.
Pre-Christmas lamb prices surged in opening markets Monday as processors prepare for lack of sales during the break.
Corowa’s lamb market was described as red hot, with trade lamb prices quoted $13 dearer. Some observers said isolated sales could have been up to $15 dearer.
The best trade lambs averaged 706¢/kg but ranged from 667-727¢/kg cwt. Heavy lamb rocketed ahead by $19-$21 to average 699¢/kg cwt. Sheep prices were unable to sustain last week’s rates, with some abattoirs having enough stock set aside. Prices fell $11-$40 with heavy mutton 423¢/kg cwt.
At Hamilton on Monday, the market posted another rally. Demand and prices for the heavy export lambs improved, with rates jumping $3-$10. Trade lamb prices on the back of last week’s much dearer trend gained $5 with medium weights averaging 706¢/kg cwt. The bulk of the heavy trade lambs sold from $164-$189.
The last sale of the year in the eastern states was Ballarat on Tuesday. Another rally was recorded for trade and export lambs after a reduced offering of 36,291 lambs exaggerated the shortage of stock over Christmas. Gains of $5-$6 were recorded for trade lambs as the market reacted to forthcoming closures. The bulk of the trade lambs made from $134-$184, with select pens hitting 730¢/kg cwt. In the heavy export market, rates lifted $5, selling from $172-$218.