Lambs hit record $380 at Ballarat as market runs white hot

Ballarat grabs national lamb record price crown with $380

Sheep
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Tight supply and keen demand has produced a new national record lamb price at Ballarat.

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BENDIGO TOPPERS: Rupert Fawcett senior, Adrian McIntosh, and Rupert Fawcett junior with the heavyweight second-cross lambs which briefly held the national lamb price record at $360.

BENDIGO TOPPERS: Rupert Fawcett senior, Adrian McIntosh, and Rupert Fawcett junior with the heavyweight second-cross lambs which briefly held the national lamb price record at $360.

The national lamb record price was smashed twice in the space of 24 hours this week with Ballarat now holding the crown at $380.

Part of a consignment of 180 first-cross-Dorset heavy export lambs offered by Kevin and Jean Guthrie and family, from Dean, topped Ballarat's weekly Tuesday sale at $380 and were knocked down to Southern Meats, Goulburn.

The previous day at Bendigo Southern Meats had paid a then national record price of $360 for 88 first-cross-Dorset lambs estimated to dress at around 43kg and sold through Bendigo agency, Ellis Nuttall.

The 11-month-old lambs were offered by Adrian and Bryon McIntosh from Wanalta.

Forbes had held the national record for the highest-priced lambs at $355 set in July last year

Mr Guthrie, 76, said he didn't know how long his record would last but said "they were magnificent bloody lambs".

He bought the lambs at Bendigo last October-November and finished them on grass, lucerne and rape.

The lambs were sold through Ballarat agency, T.B. White and Sons, whose livestock manager, Xavier Bourke, said the record setters were estimated to dress around 40kg and were aged around 10 months.

Mr Bourke said the market had been heading skywards since Christmas.

The red-hot prices have been flushing big numbers of lambs and sheep onto the market but agents fear numbers may dry up in coming weeks and months as more rain encourages flock rebuilding.

T.B. White director, Leo White, said some meat processors may have to close down a little earlier than normal this year because of a lack of lamb and sheep supply and high prices.

Most of the eastern states lamb indicators have generally drifted down a little in the past week with the trade lamb indicator shedding 26 cents to 904c a kilogram carcase weight.

However the Eastern States Restocker Lamb Indicator has continued climbing, gaining 23c in the past week to $10.26.

The Eastern States Mutton Indicator has also jumped another 17c to 688c.

PENS OF GOLD: These heavy lambs offered by Rick and Sue Pedersen from Drummartin made $352 at Bendigo on Monday offered through Ellis Nuttall. Picture by Tony Vlaeminck.

PENS OF GOLD: These heavy lambs offered by Rick and Sue Pedersen from Drummartin made $352 at Bendigo on Monday offered through Ellis Nuttall. Picture by Tony Vlaeminck.

Meanwhile, yardings at major prime lamb and sheep sales have declined at major sales so far this week with the exception of Bendigo.

Bendigo's lamb numbers jumped by a 1000 to 23,000 while sheep numbers doubled to 9000.

McKean McGregor livestock manager at Bendigo, Alex Collins, said saleyard numbers had been swelled because over-the-hooks prices hadn't kept pace with the physical markets.

He said numbers of lambs in feedlots around the region weren't as high as a normal year.

Lamb numbers dropped at Forbes on Tuesday by 6200 head to 16,700 which helped trigger a dearer market with extra heavyweights reaching $330.

Trade weights were $8 dearer and more in places to sell from $173 to $227.

Mutton prices also lifted with Merino ewes selling from $134 to $230.

Dubbo lambs numbers retreated by 2810 to 8190 on Monday and prices rose with extra heavyweights topping at $338.

Trade lambs were $4 dearer with the 18kg to 24kg lambs selling from $168 to $246 to average between 965c and 980c/kg cwt.

Merino lambs were $4 to $9 dearer with the trade weights selling from $158 to $230.

The story Lambs hit record $380 at Ballarat as market runs white hot first appeared on Farm Online.

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