Some exceptional prices have been recorded for store-type lambs in the past week.
Secondary lamb demand and competition between processors and restockers have pushed prices higher, suggesting it could be a challenging spring for buyers.
The price hike has been driven by a shortage of lambs in the south, as the southern selling season is yet to reach peak levels.
At Wagga Wagga, NSW, agents yarded 39,000 lambs.
It was the second major run of store lambs in the past few weeks to test competition this spring.
Prices were exceptionally strong for lambs returning to the paddock, with the top pens suitable for domestic slaughter topping at $208 a head, while most of the lighter weights made $110-$142, at well over 850 cents a kilogram carcase weight.
The higher prices appear to reflect the booming season in the south and the lack of lighter weight lambs at southern markets, which has intensified competition between processors and restockers.
Prices for store lambs jumped $4-$10, with a similar rise in rates recorded for the slaughter portion.
In fact, there were very few lambs selling below $140.
On the back of last week's shorter trading week in NSW, trade rates pushed ahead by $4-$5, averaging 854c/kg, while the heavy export lambs jumped $9, due in part to the lack of weight above 26kg cwt.
Heavy lambs sold from $210-$281 to average 842c/kg cwt.
Lamb markets opened up dearer in both NSW and Victoria, defying the usual spring price trends.
Tight supplies helped boost demand for trade lambs at Dubbo, NSW, and the same scenario played out at Bendigo and Corowa, NSW.
Lamb prices didn't waiver at Bendigo this week, as trade lambs jumped $3-$7 on the back of limited supplies of quality lambs in NSW.
The best gains were reportedly for heavy trade weights, which sold from $188-$207 to average 808c/kg cwt.
Heavy lamb rates slipped $2 averaging 797c/kg cwt.
Ballarat restockers were back this week securing well-bred trade weight lambs, paying from $192-$211.
Corowa's offering of 17,000 lambs included good drafts of trade lambs, which made $180-$203 with lighter trade weights selling for $156-$174.
The National Livestock Reporting Service said trade lambs averaged 815c/kg, with some pens returning more than 840c/kg cwt.
Mutton prices also surged ahead with trade sheep making $126-$142, while heavy sheep gained $6 averaging 569c/kg cwt.
The lamb market at Ballarat gained more ground this week.
The best lambs suitable for supermarket trade sold up to $210 to average 787c/kg.
Heavy lambs sold $3-$7 dearer to average 795c/kg.
Buying intensified for lambs to feed-on, making $151-$214.