Sheep prices surge on back of widespread rain

Sheep prices surge on back of widespread rain

Analysis
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Much needed rain in key areas helped boost demand for lambs, bringing relief for producers.

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Richard Wynne and Kate Schoen from Schoen Pastoral Co at Corowa.

Richard Wynne and Kate Schoen from Schoen Pastoral Co at Corowa.

Much needed rain in key areas helped boost demand for lambs, bringing relief for producers. The tight supplies of well finished lambs and mutton saw rates surge $10-$30 at the close on Friday.

A case in point was at Wagga on Thursday heavy mutton rates surged and were quoted $20-$31 dearer by the NLRS.

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Heavy Merino ewes regularly made $170-$204 to average 606c/kg cwt. Heavy crossbred ewes were keenly sought by Fletchers International Dubbo, who paid the top price of $237, while other sales ranged from $165-$232. Prices for trade sheep were $11-$17 dearer to average 550c/kg cwt. Heavy Merino wethers weighing about 35kg carrying a $12 skin topped at $232.

The better trade lambs jumped $10 regularly making $152-$194 to average 764c/kg cwt. Restocker and feedlot activity pushed light lambs to the processors $13-$15 dearer, while lambs back to the paddock jumped $9-$30.

Heavy lambs 26-30kg cwt gained $15, while the heavier portion 30kg plus lifted $17 recording a top price of $259

Export and domestic lambs were the highlight in early markets this week. Demand from restockers and feedlots intensified lifting rates significantly.

At Bendigo on Monday lamb numbers declined by 1400 to total 13,797. The best price recorded was $264 for a pen of lambs weighing above 30kg cwt. The balance of the heavy lambs gained $8-$15 fetching $192-$264.

Bidding for trade lambs was strong with rates $5-$8 dearer averaging 732c/kg cwt. A quality offering of trade Merino lambs made $144 to $182, while the heavier portion sold at $188-$192.

A highlight of the sale was light lambs, with restockers and processors facing off for a market share. Lambs back to the paddock with frame bounced $14-$24 to record a top price of $150.

A shortage of mutton saw prices literally bounce $23-$44. Heavy crossbred ewes sold from $155-$240 to average a whopping 653c/kg cwt. Trade sheep made $110-$165 averaging 555c/kg cwt.

Numbers declined at Corowa on Monday and there were still some good lambs coming through, with the bulk weighing about 20-30kg cw.

The quality yarding spurred the trade lamb market to track $10 dearer benefited by strong supermarket competition. Trade lambs fetched $169-$202 to average 815c/kg cwt. There was a lift in extra heavy lamb numbers and competition. Heavy lambs sold $11-$13 dearer making $199-$268.

Lamb prices took another step up at Ballarat on Tuesday, rates lifting $6-$11. Helped by strengthening export demand ahead of what is shaping to be a steep hill for processors, as supplies tighten heading into winter. The best heavy lambs topped at $287.

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