Lamb prices lift as supply tightens

Lamb prices lift as supply tightens

Sales
FAMILY TOPS: Kellie and Andrew Crossley, Kapunda, Deniliquin, NSW, with Lucy, 9, Will, 6 and Sam, 11, who topped the first-cross ewe section of a Deniliquin sale recently.

FAMILY TOPS: Kellie and Andrew Crossley, Kapunda, Deniliquin, NSW, with Lucy, 9, Will, 6 and Sam, 11, who topped the first-cross ewe section of a Deniliquin sale recently.

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What a week for the livestock industry.

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What a week for the livestock industry with lamb prices lifting by as much as $25 a head and cattle prices surging $200-$300 for steers and heifers destined for feedlots.

These hefty returns have been boosted by soaking rains in the north and intensified bidding against reduced numbers of well-bred stock.

The rain and tightening supplies could see the eastern states' trade lamb indicator hit 900 cents a kilogram sooner rather than later.

The biggest gains last week were for heavy lambs, which rose by 36c/kg carcase weight to close at 809c/kg cwt.

The eastern states' trade lamb indicator finished at 812c/kg cwt and restocking lambs averaged 893c/kg after the end of trade last week.

The Wagga Wagga, NSW, market on Thursday reacted to the rain in two ways - fewer sheep were on offer and prices were generally dearer across the board, according to the National Livestock Reporting Service (NLRS).

Heavy lambs were a hot ticket item during the week, with northern processors mopping up more than a few truck loads.

The heaviest lambs weighing 41kg cwt made $308.

On average, heavy lambs sold at $222-$298, averaging 777-830c/kg cwt.

Trade lambs made to $212 and medium weights sold from $172 to $202, with rates climbing as the sale progressed.

Some very good quality lambs did return 900c/kg cwt.

Skin values reached $25, with the best rates for Merino lambs carrying big fleeces.

The shortage of trade lambs pushed Merino trade lamb prices up $18, topping at $206 for 22kg cwt.

Bendigo's market reacted to last week's shorter trading week with bigger numbers and dearer price trends.

The biggest gains were for heavy lambs, with prices up by $24, according to the NLRS.

Heavy lambs returned $210-$305, averaging 815c/kg cwt.

Trade lambs made to $208 and medium weight sold from $168-$184, or 817c/kg cwt.

While the lamb market edged forward, there was a stronger push for mutton, which gained $18-$35 for heavy categories.

Crossbred ewes sold from $142-$236, while Merinos topped at $215.

Trade sheep lacked the buyer intensity of the last market with rates firm to slightly cheaper, averaging 580-603/kg cwt.

On Tuesday at Ballarat, lamb prices were on a roll, driven by strong demand from domestic and export processors.

Keen buying competition along with wet weather in the south and tight supplies continued to strengthen Ballarat rates.

An example of this was heavy lambs, when processors entered bidding duels, pushing rates $20 higher to record a top price of $308.

Heavy trade lambs gained $18, hitting 930c/kg to average 871c/kg cwt.

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