Bigger numbers of heavier lambs have hit the market at southern saleyards.
This was certainly the case at Wagga on Thursday, where the offering on 25,000 lambs included 7000 sheep. More of these lambs were at the heavier end, 24kg plus carcass weight, as the dry season delivers supplementary grain-fed types.
Bidding ignited for heavier lambs with more processors stepping up to compete for a market share of the extra heavy lambs weighing 30kg plus. Heavy lambs rates were $7-$10 higher making from $166-$226 to average about 614¢/kg cwt. National Livestock Reporting Service reported that demand from domestic processors strengthened as buyers look to assemble more lambs leading into the weekend. Trade lamb rates gained $4, with medium and heavy trade lambs making $138-172 to average 636¢/kg cwt.
Continuing dry conditions and bigger numbers of unfinished light lambs lacking quality meant this grade sold from $55-$120. Surprisingly, there is now more interest in restocking with lambs suitable to turnout or fatten in feedlots selling to greater competition. Lambs with frame made from $105-$133 to average $110.
The shortage of top quality domestic lambs at Bendigo on Monday helped lift prices. NLRS said shorter skinned supplementary fed trade lambs sold to stronger demand with prices from $122-$177, averaging 675¢/kg cwt.
Medium weight trade lambs were in shorter supply and sold to a top of $152. Merino rates continued to fluctuate as quality and buyer demand varied.
There was more competition, however, for medium weight Merino lambs which sold to a dearer trend of $8, making from $139-158 to average 610¢/kg cwt. Processor demand for light weight Merino lambs to slaughter kept prices strong and the stronger competition kept some restockers on the back foot. The mutton market opened dearer with buyers going on a spree. Increased competition pushed heavy and trade mutton values up by more than $10 for some grades.
At Ballarat on Tuesday, the lamb market opened cheaper with greater numbers and weaker competition driving much of the price decline. The majority of trade lambs fetched $132-$169, averaging 670¢/kg cwt. There were bigger numbers of heavy lambs above 26kg carcass weight. Bidding for these lambs became more selective, causing rates to slip $4-$6 to average 628¢-658¢/kg cwt. Secondary lambs back to the paddock saw a jump up to $5 to sell from $79-$141.50.
Mutton prices did not respond like other markets on Monday and prices were generally $6-$11 cheaper.
Heavy grades sold from $82-$149, averaging 394-426¢/kg cwt. Trade sheep were $5-$7 cheaper.