It was a no-brainer that sheep and lamb prices would rally once it rained and the current flush of numbers disappeared at northern markets.
This was evident at Wagga Wagga, NSW, on Thursday when the mutton market ran hot, rewarding producers for all classes of sheep.
The price surge for heavy mutton left some vendors breathless, when sales of heavy Merino wethers lifted above 700 cents a kilogram carcase weight.
Rates had no boundaries for weight or woolly Merino sheep, despite most processors standing aside, unable to match the fierce bidding that came from Fletchers Dubbo, NSW, and Thomas Food International.
Further assisting the price rise was wet conditions and lack of numbers.
Some heavy sheep categories jumped $20 a head to record a top price of $255, while Merino wethers sold to $240.
The lamb market threw off a sluggish start caused by erratic bidding.
Shorter skinned grain fed lambs spurred prices up to $5 dearer to average 891c/kg cwt.
Merino trade lambs bounced $20 to record a top price of $214.
Heavy lambs were well supplied over 26kg cwt, making $234-$340.
All markets opened dearer on Monday with the Corowa, NSW, selling centre smashing the national record, recording a top price of $350 for a pen of 41 lambs weighing approximately 40kg cwt.
At Bendigo, numbers dropped despite no sale last week.
Agents mustered 12,000 lambs and 4700 sheep.
Here rates rose over all categories.
Heavy export lambs felt the pressure of tightening supplies and were the highlight of the sale, reaching $326, with the main run of heavy lambs selling $12-$28 dearer, averaging 931c/kg cwt.
A similar upward trend followed over in the trade market with gains of $11-$14.
The better covered trade lambs made from $194-$245, averaging 933c/kg cwt.
Lamb prices at Ballarat on Tuesday lifted by as much as $27, as rates began to climb through winter.
The biggest gains were for lambs to feed on which recorded a top price of $226.
The market reacted to the wet weather with trade lambs gaining $10 to average 936c/kg cwt.
Heavy lamb quality was again outstanding and bidding intensified pushing lamb rates $17-$23 higher than the week prior.
The bulk made from $250-$344 to average 844-898c/kg.
Competition strengthened for secondary lambs and was a standout of the sale.
Feedlots paid from $143-$226, while well-bred lambs returning to the paddock fetched $99-$131
There was strong processor competition in the mutton run and most grades were unchanged.
Heavy sheep sold from $150-$245, while trade ewes made $106-$160.