Rain drives up mutton prices

Rain drives up mutton prices

Sales
FOR SALE: Nicholas Atkinson, North Tuppal, Tocumwal, NSW, sold 326 June/July 2018-drop ewes for $260 at Deniliquin, NSW.

FOR SALE: Nicholas Atkinson, North Tuppal, Tocumwal, NSW, sold 326 June/July 2018-drop ewes for $260 at Deniliquin, NSW.

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The sheep market has experienced a backflip, with numbers surging last week.

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The sheep market has experienced a backflip, with numbers surging last week.

Figures suggest it was linked to the high dollar value offered in the physical market by exporters.

High values enticed producers to sell productive older ewes and even their younger sisters, which increased supply substantially over the space of a week.

The influx of sheep numbers across two states, NSW and Victoria, placed a load of pressure on prices.

This had a large impact on price, with the eastern states indicator settling at 561 cents a kilogram.

At Wagga Wagga, NSW, the National Livestock Reporting Service said the yarding of 18,000 sheep was for the first time in months a very mixed quality offering and numbers jumped by more than 6000.

A fall of $13-$26 a head on Thursday took the polish off recent prices in the sheep market.

Heavy mutton topped at $227 and generally averaged 570c/kg cwt.

Light and medium weight sheep slipped $11, making from $57-$139 to average 523-547c/kg cwt.

A restocker intervened over the lightweight types, helping prices find a base.

Light sheep back to the paddock sold at $57-$70.

Mutton rates at Hamilton on Thursday were back $5-$13, with heavy grades topping at $241 to average 613c/kg cwt.

Light and medium weights averaged 552-572c/kg cwt.

On the lamb front, markets opened solidly Monday.

There is pressure on buyers at present to source properly finished lambs and it's creating a price divide based on quality.

It was evident at Bendigo on Monday, where the best trade lambs 22-24kg were dearer as prices consistently tracked from 750-808c/kg cwt, recording a top of $196.

Heavy shorn lamb competition intensified and lambs over 30kg cwt gained $10, averaging 715c/kg cwt.

There was little improvement for plainer lambs, however some lots found support from processors, making $105-$145.

The only lambs to meet specifications across the region are those finished off on grain or irrigation.

Meanwhile, a week is a long time in the sheep game when rain in the north dries up supply.

Two major northern processors went head-to-head in the Bendigo mutton market, lifting heavy ewe rates $35 higher than a week ago.

Heavy crossbred ewes sold at $170-$259.

Trade mutton eased $3-$8.

With 17,309 lambs, numbers were down by 12,386 at Ballarat.

The usual buying group met extra competition from northern processors in a dear market, with prices $7-$12 dearer.

Heavy shorn lambs topped at $244, to average 740c/kg cwt.

Heavy trade weights jumped $9-$10, making $172-$192 and averaging 776c/kg.

Lambs to feed-on made $140-$190.

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