The lamb market threw out strong price signals late last week, with numbers, weather conditions and restocker support influencing robust outcomes over all lamb and sheep categories. The wet weather in NSW last week appears to be having some affect with restockers and processors upping the ante amid forecast of more rain to follow.
In the NSW Riverina there were reports of 50 to 100mm of rain across the supply area which buoyed competition significantly at the Wagga lamb and sheep market.
Store lambs attracted a big following with the buying power generated from Ballarat, Barellan, Griffith and Tamworth, rates surged $16-$27 for well-bred types, with buyers paying from $104-$170 for lambs with weight and frame. Light weight types sold at $56-$100.
Despite two major domestic processors not operating at the market rain gave the trade lamb market a boost with prices climbing $10-$20 as buyers scrambled to secure supplies. Trade lambs made from $148-$222 to average 792c- 832c/kg. Heavy young lambs were in short supply selling from 211-241c/kg cwt.
There was plenty of interest in the mutton sale, with Fletcher International dominating most categories. Heavy mutton topped at $179.20. The better sales of heavy sheep made from $115-$136 to average 405c/kg cwt. Light and medium grades fluctuated with skin quality determining prices. Light and medium grades ranged from $56-$122.
Price rates for good quality trade lambs improved as the industry heads towards summer a shortage of quality and weight. Lamb prices continue to be all over the shop as the market struggles to find a base rate amid the tough seasonal spring conditions. The overall pattern of better quality lambs are holding their value while secondary types lacking finish are being discounted heavily at times. Overall results in the past week have been mixed depending on sale location and rain.
An example of this was at Corowa in opening sales Monday where prices fell $12-$15 with major domestic buyers not attending. Yet at Bendigo where numbers declined prices firmed.
Looking at the big picture the Bendigo market on Monday followed on from the stronger trend seen last week in NSW. Prices for any well finished light and medium weight trade lambs tracked $3-$6 dearer to average 709-721c/kg cwt. Heavy lambs sold $2 dearer making from $208-218 averaging 735c/kg cwt. National Livestock Reporting Service said there was strong interest from restockers who came from Rainbow, Shepparton and Ballarat Light weight lambs sold from $42-$89 while lambs with weight and frame made from $115-$158.