A reduction in lamb numbers at some eastern markets has helped lamb sales gain some traction.
Prices became buoyant late in the week, with even plainer nondescript lambs attracting more than a second glance from restockers and processors. Rates at physical markets increased anywhere from $3-$8 in a space of a week. It begs the question, just how viable are prices? Many agents consider the upswing in prices the start of a volatile time, with the start of a shorter trading week and dry conditions.
Wagga’s much smaller offering of just over 32,000 lambs was representative of this, with all trade and heavy lambs jumping $3- $8.
National Livestock Reporting Service (NLRS) noted extra heavy lambs topped at $219. For the first time in weeks there was a wide-ranging weight variation across heavy lamb categories, giving buyers a bigger selection of lambs weighing between 25-30kg. Heavy lambs fetched from $171-$219.20 averaging 611¢/kg cwt. There was a lift in values for trade lambs, with the trend most noticeable across recently shorn drafts. The bulk of the trade lambs sold at $121-$168, averaging 650¢/kg. The mutton market did not lag either, with heavy sheep dearer.
There were no Victorian lamb or cattle markets on Monday due to Labour Day.
The shorter trading week had some impact on rates just across the border at Corowa, where prices where firm to slightly dearer. Trade rates fluctuated, with a low of $93 to a top of $188, and the bulk of the trade lambs averaging 633¢/kg cwt. The highlight of the market was heavy lambs, with stronger buying competition supporting rates. Heavy lambs fetched $155-$203.
The shortage of top quality lambs at Dubbo on Monday helped lift prices $4. NLRS said shorter skinned, supplementary fed trade lambs sold to stronger demand, with prices ranging from $113-$153 averaging 597¢/kg cwt. On the heavy export front, rates were unchanged selling at $154-$207. Processor demand for light weight lambs to slaughter kept rates robust. MKL lambs made from $77-$119, while light weight store lamb sold at $65-$119.
Ballarat’s 24,663 on Tuesday was up 2145 for the week. This rise did little to deter the market, with prices generally unchanged. Competition firmed for trade lambs, especially for supplementary fed drafts. Medium and heavy trade lambs fetched $135-$156, averaging 611¢/kg cwt. There was upward pressure on lambs weighing 24-26kg, with buyers eager to capture a market share. The increased demand helped firmed rates to average 606¢/kg cwt. The outstanding selection of heavy lambs pushed rates $5 higher with a single pen reaching a top price of $212.