The past week has seen circumstances shift in favour of processors, factoring in a combination of mixed quality supplies of new season lambs and plainer drafts of old lambs.
Surprisingly, restocker interest has not yet picked up in northern markets and when this occurs it will help underpin lighter trade weight categories.
Processors at Wagga Wagga, NSW, went into reverse last week, winding back more than $30 a head on many sales of old lambs.
In recent weeks, buyers have expressed their concern at what they described as over inflated rates and consumer price resistance.
This was obvious at the sale with one major northern export processor watching from the sidelines, while some domestic buyers were extremely selective, preferring old trade lambs with a shorter skin.
Less competition affected new season lamb rates, with prices slipping $12-$15 to average 830-860 cents a kilogram.
Old trade lambs sold to erratic trends, dipping $20-$30 with the better presented types selling at $150-$213 to average 750-830c/kg cwt.
Heavy lambs were smashed, with prices falling $30-$32 to average 800c/kg.
The cheaper trend was not quite as severe at Griffith, NSW, on Friday for trade weight new season lambs with rates $5 lower.
The better finished young lambs, 20-22kg, made from $190-$210.
Old trade lambs lacked backing from the usual processors and prices came off $21 to average 790c/kg cwt.
The highlight was the mutton market where prices gained pace on the back of a shortage of supply in the north, subsequently rates jumped $8-$24 with heavy ewe mutton topping at $223 to average 673c/kg.
Trade sheep sold at $115-$167 to average 653c/kg.
It was more of the same softer trend at Bendigo and Dubbo, NSW, on Monday, when both markets reported increased supplies.
Numbers at Bendigo jumped to 11,046 lambs and 4498 sheep.
The National Livestock Reporting Service said numbers were boosted by 3600 new season lambs.
Supply put pressure on new season lamb values, with lighter trade weights falling $8-$15 to average 860c/kg cwt.
Weaker demand for heavier suckers meant rates averaged $23 lower, fetching from $209-$236.
Old trade lambs lacked the fizz and bubble of the previous sale, falling $15 to average 759-808c/kg.
Heavy export lambs eased $4 topping at $269.
The Ballarat market posted firm results, with shorter skin old trade lambs unchanged, making $200-$220, averaging 840-850c/kg cwt.
The best of the heavy lambs hit $248 to average 857c/kg cwt.
Deniliquin, NSW, recorded the top price, eclipsing all markets.
Sucker lambs, 28kg cwt, topped at $245.