Yarding: 24,274 head
Top price: $240/head
Heavy lambs 630-700c/kg
Trade lambs: 650-725c/kg
Store lambs $105-$148
DEMAND and prices for prime slaughter and restocking lambs held firm in the post-Easter trading at Ballarat saleyards on Tuesday.
Although sales initially opened slightly easier, competition quickly gained momentum as the regular buying troupe toiled its way through a large 24,000-strong lamb yarding that offered a broad variety of trade, export, store and restocking classes.
The main highlight was a sale high $240 a head paid for a yard of 118 White Suffolk-cross lambs, June/July-drop and November shorn. Offered by the Gervasoni family of Smeaton, these were estimated to weigh some 34kg on an export kill while a further 24 pens throughout the say secured prices upwards of $200.
TB White & Sons auctioneer Gerard White assessed the market as being fully firm to dearer than Ballarat’s pre-Easter market.
Demand he said held the same consistency and the same energy as the passed two Ballarat markets which were both very strong affairs.
“There were plenty of sales made their $200 or more, although some sales in the $180 to $185 price brackets, if anything, could have been a couple of dollars dearer,” Mr White said.
Landmark auctioneer Xavier Shanahan agreed and said demand for mid-weighted heavy lambs was a touch strong at times, however the inquiry for trade weights was exceptional.
“The trade inquiry is as strong as we’ve seen it,” Mr Shanahan said. “The exporters, perhaps, didn’t appear quiet as keen but they’re still paying very good money which hasn’t really altered from around 600-640c/kg.”
Graeme Nicholson, Elders, who company was positioned first in this week’s sale draw saw prices as easier when the market opened cautiously.
“Heavy and heavy trade lambs were $5-$8 a head cheaper in our sale but the better quality medium trade lambs were definitely firm,” he said. “Our yarding of lambs wasn’t as heavy as in recent sales,” Mr Nicholson said. “But at an estimated 30kg, our heaviest lambs still made $6/kg, with a $10 November-shorn skin.”
Other sale highlights included local restockers and a South Australian agent buying store lambs at prices mostly from $105 to $148/head, and some drafts of well-bred first cross ewe lambs that made $146-$206/head. Merino wether lambs were also sold to restockers at $64 to $115/head.