Demand, numbers driving prices higher

Demand, numbers driving prices higher

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Heavy lambs sold to $380, while light lambs made more than $11 a kilogram this week.

Demand for lambs and mutton has continued at a pace as stock numbers continued to find their way to saleyards.

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At Ballarat, Michael Frawley, BJ Frawley & Sons, Bungaree, claimed joint top price of $380 a head for 122 lambs.

The price equaled that paid last week at the same centre.

The shortened selling week in Victoria due to the Monday public holiday aided both the yarding totals and prices.

The run of heavy lambs at Ballarat was the "best you could see anywhere in Australia", according to TB White & Sons director and auctioneer Gerard White.

Mr White said the line-up was a credit to the vendors.

Meat & Livestock Australia's National Livestock Reporting Service said the increased yarding was of "exceptional" quality.

The yarding of 31,132 was around 5500 more than the previous week.

The rise was attributed to the short selling week and the current pricing levels.

MLA data showed that Ballarat crossbred lambs, 22-24 kilograms, averaged 965 cents a kilogram carcase weight, up from 891c/kg last week and up a massive 297c/kg year-on-year.

Despite that the heavy lambs were quoted as slightly cheaper.

Feeders and restockers were active at Ballarat, fighting with processors for suitable lambs.

The stiff competition drove the price for light lambs, 16-18kg, to average 1017c/kg, a rise this year of 261c/kg.

Corowa, NSW, which sold Monday, was similar to Ballarat, when 16-18kg lambs averaged 1050c/kg, compared with 1022c/kg last week and 640c/kg last year.

In the heavier category at Corowa, 22-24kg lambs averaged 985c/kg compared with 945c/kg the week before.

As a point of reference, Dubbo, NSW, also sold Monday and its penning of 22-24kg lambs averaged 982c/kg, a rise of 377c/kg on March 2019.

The mutton penning at Ballarat decreased by about 30 per cent to 9749.

It was another strong market with prices reported as $30higher than the previous week in places.

Medium weight sheep sold from $130 to $209 to average 745c/kg and heavy sheep, 24-30kg, sold from $188 to $245 and over 30kg sold from $227 to $282.

At Corowa there were just 3650 sheep yarded, down by nearly 400 on the previous week.

MLA reported heavy mutton selling dearer with 4-score crossbred ewes selling from $241 to $280 to average 752c/kg and heavy Merino ewes climbing $32, selling to a top of $270.

Comparing total yardings of combined sheep and lambs, MLA data reported that Ballarat's yarding of 39,641 this week compared with 31,768 last month and 23,915 in March 2019.

Corowa yarded 14,750 this week compared with 24,350 a month ago and just 8750 last year.

At Dubbo this week there was a total yarding of 11,800 compared to a penning of 5770 a month ago and 33,350 12 months ago.

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