Buoyant sheep meat and phenomenal wool prices are rewarding producers considerably. The eastern states sheep indicator closed on Friday at 420c carcass weight, while the wool indicator closed last week at 1820c/kg.
Prices are some of the highest rates for the months, and sales late last week saw lifts of up to $25. Rates are rising despite more sheep being sold. A northern agent said weather and strong overseas demand has helped the rises. He said the better prices could be around for some time considering the rain was a primary factor behind the latest price surge last week.
There were strong price improvements for sheep last week at Wagga as buyers struggled to acquire adequate numbers of well covered types. Heavy crossbred ewes topped at $186 while Merino ewes hit $167 to average 420c/kg cwt. Light and medium weight sheep gained $7-$16 making from $76-$129
Meanwhile in the lamb market at Wagga, prices headed south with a price correction of $8-$9 for trade lambs. While it is a big price cut it is not unusual for this time of year. Price usually succumb to pressure of over the hooks lambs when rates begin to ease off after spring highs. What delayed the price correction this season appears to of been the season, and good supplies of young lambs further south. Heavy lambs dodged a bullet with prices firm $2 dearer. Heavy lambs sold from $168-$240 to average 622c/kg cwt
Rates weakened in early trading this week as some buyers took a step back, with reports processors have adequate numbers of lambs arriving direct to works. This was evident at Bendigo where numbers jumped by over 10,000. Agents yarded 17,561 lambs and 5000 sheep. The surge in lamb numbers and less buyer activity pushed trade lambs prices down $5-$10. The best trade lambs 22-24 kg sold at $135-$161 to average 592c/kg cwt. On the back of improved quality heavy lambs 30kg plus prices lifted $6 while other heavy lambs dipped $8 to average 576c/kg cwt.
According to the NLRS the highlight of the sale was the mutton market where heavy crossbred ewes jumped $15 to top at $170 averaging 426c/kg cwt. Trade weight sheep sold to stronger competition making from $78-$125 while lighter weight ewe mutton made $53-$106.
Lamb numbers were up at Ballarat on Tuesday to 25,684 and 9,619 sheep. Lamb prices are beginning to dip as the dry autumn begins to bite. Trade lambs rates came off the boil $7-$8 as domestic processors became more selective. The bulk of the trade lambs averaging 576-605c/kg cwt. Heavy lambs held their value making from $158-$228 to average 593c/kg cwt.