The lamb market continued its bumpy spring ride, with prices trending down across most categories.
It comes as bigger numbers become available in the south and southern markets head towards their big flush of new season lambs.
Toward the end of last week falls of $4-$10 a head were fairly common.
Wagga Wagga, NSW, on Thursday had a slight rate adjustment, due in part to almost no southern competition.
Buyer demand from major domestic buyers was weaker, causing price levels to bounce around depending on who was buying.
Some major processors said they had secured a substantial portion of their offering through direct sales and were not operating on the day.
Agents said there was a trend for processors to try and reduce prices whenever bigger numbers flowed direct to abattoirs and southern markets began their sell-off in earnest.
Trade lambs in NSW on average made from $146-$198, averaging 750-780 cents a kilogram carcase weight.
Heavy lambs firmed as the week progressed and as a general rule sold from $195-$268.
Opening sales on Monday in Victoria and NSW experienced a price correction, despite the contraction of supply due to the shorter trading week in Victoria.
The greater availability of trade lambs selling direct had an impact on prices, with rates falling up to $10 at Bendigo.
The main run of trade lambs sold for $145-$183 to average 730-744c/kg.
Just one pen of heavy lambs topped at $230.
The bulk of the heavy lambs made from $202-$222 to average 750c/kg cwt.
There was greater interest in store lambs, with buyers travelling from Horsham, Echuca, Shepparton and Wodonga.
Lambs with frame and weight made from $139-$158, and smaller types varied from $98-$135.
Ballarat numbers slipped down to 22,635 head, which was most likely due to the Melbourne Cup holiday.
The quality was outstanding as producers move further into the prevailing brilliant spring conditions.
There were some trade lambs attracting price premiums of close to 800c/kg cwt, and overall the bulk averaged 755c/kg.
Heavy sucker lambs reached $247, and looking at the big picture export buyers and domestic processors are all jostling to buy more weight, which helped push rates higher.
Mutton rates jumped $9-$18.
The best crossbred ewes recorded a top price of $217.