Export demand boosts lamb rates

Export demand boosts lamb rates

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Demand for lamb continued to track strongly for both trade and export categories.

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FAMILY SALE: Charlie, Matilda and Clint Dunn, Craigilee, Culcairn, NSW, sold this pen of 59 shorn lambs for $226 at a Corowa, NSW, sale earlier this month in hazy conditions.

FAMILY SALE: Charlie, Matilda and Clint Dunn, Craigilee, Culcairn, NSW, sold this pen of 59 shorn lambs for $226 at a Corowa, NSW, sale earlier this month in hazy conditions.

Demand for lamb continued to track strongly for both trade and export categories.

Export processors have driven competition over several weight categories in the chase for numbers, which caused a step up in rates.

Some good results were recorded as prices for heavy lambs were pushed above $230 a head.

The sheep markets have also begun the new year on a stronger note, although the industry is still waiting for further signals about supply.

A shortage of good quality mutton in NSW has played a key role in the stronger price performance, which was reflected in sales above 600 cents a kilogram carcase weight for heavy ewes and Merino wethers.

The most substantial rise was for heavy crossbred ewes at Wagga Wagga, NSW, when Goulburn abattoir paid a thumping $260 for a pen of ewes, resulting in rates soaring $60.

Prices at the Wagga lamb sale on Thursday followed rising trends, with all categories achieving strong results.

A small contingent of processors pushed prices for both trade and heavy lambs above 735c/kg cwt, according to the National Livestock Reporting Service.

The tops of the export lambs had more weight than anticipated and shorn lambs made up to $230, to average 790-735c/kg cwt.

The improved quality of the trade lambs meant prices were $5 dearer, receiving $140-$180, to average 740c/kg cwt.

There were signs the lamb quality and numbers are beginning to tail off at Bendigo's market.

NLRS said numbers fell on Monday to 10,000 lambs and the yarding reflected the dry conditions.

Most of the better finished recently shorn trade lambs were quoted by the NLRS as $10-$20 dearer, with processors determined to fill orders.

Medium and heavy trade lambs sold at $158-$180, averaging 740-780c/kg cwt.

At the top of the heavy lambs, demand was strong, with lambs above 26kg cwt returning $179-$242, to average 712-742c/kg cwt.

Restockers and feedlots found the going hard due to the sharp rise in rates.

Lambs returning to the paddock fetched $90-$200.

Ballarat Lamb market on Tuesday felt the effects of the ongoing tight supply, with lambs the hot ticket item from top to bottom.

Competition for heavy lambs was fierce between exporters and prices surged $10-$13.

The feature of the sale was extra heavy lambs, the $236 top price was paid for lambs estimated to weigh more than 30kg cwt.

The bulk of the heavy lambs averaged 700-740c/kg cwt.

Trade lambs made $154-$197, gaining $10.

Restockers and feedlot buyers stayed in the hunt and upped the ante at the lighter weight end of the market.

Rates jumped up to $14 for well-bred lambs with frame.

Lambs returning to the paddock topped at $200.

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