Mutton prices pushed higher

Mutton prices pushed higher


Sales
SUCKER-SELLER: Sandy Howieson, Kyle, Chloe and Peter OBrien, Speed, received the top price of $260 a head for sucker lambs at Ouyen's recent sheep sale.

SUCKER-SELLER: Sandy Howieson, Kyle, Chloe and Peter OBrien, Speed, received the top price of $260 a head for sucker lambs at Ouyen's recent sheep sale.

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Prices continued their higher rates across NSW and Victoria last week.

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Mutton has been driven back above 600 cents a kilogram carcase weight, rising 206c/kg year-on-year.

Prices continued their higher rates across NSW and Victoria last week, despite bigger offerings of sheep at most selling centres.

Demand has been strongest from Fletchers International, who seized the bulk of supplies across medium and heavy grades at most selling centres.

Many northern graziers are now selling younger ewes due to protracted dry conditions through autumn, winter and with minimal spring rains.

There is, however, significant incentive for farmers to keep selling, with mutton rates generally jumping $70 a head in the past three weeks.

At Wagga Wagga, NSW, the National Livestock Reporting Service reported stronger demand for heavy and medium weight sheep irrespective of weight or wool length.

Sheep prices on the day continued to baffle many a pundit, with the big dry fuelling another price spike despite the significant lift in supply.

The larger offering bought with it more processors, which set the scene for prices to surge $28-$35.

Merino ewes topped at $236, while crossbred ewes sold to $235, the bulk of the ewe mutton averaged 620-655c/kg cwt.

The pick of the trade lambs made from $180-$216, to average 830c/kg cwt.

Heavy young lambs attracted strong bidding, making from $220-$273 and averaging 823c/kg cwt.

The lamb market didn't quite live up to expectations in early trade this week.

Price variations and quality affected rates at Bendigo on Monday, in a bigger offering of 26,974 lambs and 14,000 sheep.

The best trade weight lambs to supermarkets averaged 795c/kg, with odd sales spiking to 854c/kg cwt.

Rates reached a top price of $248 for heavy young lambs estimated to weigh above 30kg cwt, with the bulk of heavy lambs selling $4-$7 cheaper, making from $196-$235.

While processors secured the bulk of the light lambs, restockers were present but constrained by the season.

Lambs returning to the paddock with weight and frame sold from $135-$161.

In the mutton sale, northern processors dictated market trends pushing rates $8-$16 higher.

Heavy crossbred ewes sold to $241 and Merino ewes topped at $213.

Numbers were up by 11,056 to 26,762 at Ballarat.

Spring lamb quality was excellent with all weights and grades on offer.

Rates for trade lambs were mostly unchanged to a few dollars dearer.

Trade lambs sold from $155-$196 to generally average 787c/kg cwt.

Heavy lamb rates slumped $20 making $198-$214, while the extra heavy portion held firm to average 783c/kg cwt.

Heavy sheep sold $24 cheaper, while trade mutton gained $5 to average 611c/kg cwt.

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