Season continues to dictate quality and demand

Season continues to dictate quality and demand

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OUT AND ABOUT: Rowan Turner, Berrybank, and agent Angus Lloyd, Australian Lamb Company, Colac, purchased wether lambs at Edenhope last month. Photo by Gregor Heard.

OUT AND ABOUT: Rowan Turner, Berrybank, and agent Angus Lloyd, Australian Lamb Company, Colac, purchased wether lambs at Edenhope last month. Photo by Gregor Heard.

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The season continues to have the biggest influence on lamb quality and demand.

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The season continues to have the biggest influence on lamb quality and demand.

It was reflected in saleyard supply last week, with dry conditions and limited supplies of finished lambs boosting rates in NSW and at southern Victorian markets.

An example of this was at Hamilton last week where the centre was almost at full house at 35,000 lambs - a 40 per cent increase on the previous week according to the National Livestock Reporting Service (NLRS).

Quality was again outstanding and the prices dearer.

In contrast, numbers at Wagga Wagga, NSW, lifted to 29,000 on Thursday, with three-quarters of the offering store lambs.

Prices surged $8-15 a head for heavy lambs, with plenty of sales ranging from $200-$251 to average 744 cents a kilogram.

Shorn trade lambs were paid a premium topping at $175, with the bulk of trade lambs averaging 733c/kg cwt.

In the south, the season and numbers are also influencing price results due to increased supplies of young lambs in genuine slaughter condition.

The Victorian market data showed trade lambs averaging 703c/kg last week at Hamilton, while the heavy portion averaged 728c/kg, topping at $205.

The lamb markets on Monday hit a flat spot as spring numbers swell, causing a price correction over all categories.

Lamb rates were generally $5-$15 cheaper across Victoria and NSW.

At Bendigo on Monday there was a slightly larger yarding of 16,000 lambs.

Lamb prices lost traction again this week with most categories cheaper.

Bidding for trade and export lambs was erratic, caused by a buyer re-shuffle, according to the NLRS.

The general run of trade lambs was $7-$15 cheaper.

The better-finished trade lambs sold from $140-$180, to trend around 700c/kg.

In the mutton run, processors backed away from last week's higher rates, discounting most categories by $10-$22.

The best price recorded was $210 for crossbred ewes, while trade sheep sold from $100-$155.

Ballarat's offering on Tuesday of 41,544 was described as average to excellent.

The NLRS quoted trade lambs $8-$12 cheaper.

The best trade lambs averaged 673c/kg cwt and ranged from $128-$171.

Heavy lambs sold at $228-$270.

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