Bigger numbers of heavier lambs hit the market at saleyards across southern Australia.
This was certainly the case at Wagga on Thursday where the offering on 30,500 lambs included 8,000 sheep. Majority of these lambs were at the heavier end, 25kg plus carcass weight, as the dry season delivers supplementary grain fed types.
Bidding was intense, with processors stepping up to compete for a market share of the lambs weighing 30kg plus. Heavy lamb rates were $2-$4 higher, making $171-$243 to average about 646c/kg cwt.
The NLRS reported demand from domestic processors strengthened as the sale progressed. Trade lamb rates gained up to $4 in places, with the medium and heavy trade lambs making $140-172 to average 666c/kg cwt.
Bigger numbers of unfinished light lambs lacking quality sold for $73-$126. Surprisingly there is more interest in restocking, with lambs suitable to turnout or fatten selling to greater competition. Lambs with frame back to the paddock made $91-$120, to average $109.
Bigger numbers of plainer lambs needing more finish were reported at Bendigo, Corowa and Dubbo, as feed and water become a major issue.
Despite the shortage of top quality domestic lambs at Bendigo on Monday, rates dipped $8-$20. The NLRS said shorter skinned supplementary fed trade lambs ranged from $150-$164, averaging 662c/kg cwt. Medium weight trade lambs (22kg) were in shorter supply and sold to a top of $154. Demand for heavy lambs was significantly weaker with not all buyers bidding. The bulk of the heavy lambs made $166-$228, to average 600-633c/kg cwt.
The (MKL) lambs suitable for the Middle East made $65-$124. NLRS data showed there were only limited numbers of secondary lambs suiting restockers or lot feeders, and the bigger lines of shorn lambs made $85-$134.
The mutton market opened to erratic competition. Heavy sheep topped at $128 to average 320-340c/kg. There was more buying power across trade weight lines, with rates hovering from 380c-399c/kg cwt.
At Ballarat on Tuesday the lamb market opened cheaper. The majority of trade lambs dipped $12-$17 fetching $111-$160, averaging 608c/kg cwt. There were plenty of heavy lambs above 26kg carcass weight and bidding for heavy lambs became more selective, causing rates to slip $16-$27 to average 586c-617c/kg cwt. Secondary lambs back to the paddock slumped up to $9, making $80-$140.
The mutton market also softened. Heavy grades sold for $75-$128 averaging 325c/kg cwt. Trade sheep were $2-$3 cheaper averaging 312-383c/kg.