Lamb prices continue to back-pedal amid Covid-19 fears

Coronavirus continues to give lamb prices and producers a headache

Coronavirus
TAKING A CUT: Lamb prices have drifted downwards on the back of the global coronavirus pandemic but local butchers have been flat out keeping up with local demand.

TAKING A CUT: Lamb prices have drifted downwards on the back of the global coronavirus pandemic but local butchers have been flat out keeping up with local demand.

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A big yarding of lambs at Monday's Bendigo sale added to fears producers are keen to sell amid fears coronavirus will cause more headaches in the red meat supply chain.

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Lamb prices continued to back-pedal at Monday's Bendigo sale with more signs that worried producers are keen to offload stock before coronavirus triggers more problems in the market.

Agents were surprised by the size of the yardiing - 26,877, only marginally fewer than last week - with most categories $15 to $30 cheaper.

The Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator has drifted down to 939 cent a kilogram carcase weight after losing 15c in the past week which is still 285c above year-ago levels.

The Eastern States Mutton Indicator has dipped 41c in the past week to 698c.

The National Mutton Indicator has fallen 53c in the past week to 675c while the National Trade Lamb Indicator has dropped 12c to 921c.

While some processors at Bendigo were quiet, all made purchases with lamb flying off the shelves in butcher shops and supermarkets as consumers rush to stock up on food amid coronavirus lockdown panic.

Meat and Livestock Australia reported bidding ebbed and flowed throughout the auction and the market was difficult to follow at times.

Competition for top trade weight lambs, supplemented with grain and in short skins, was still reasonable, MLA said.

The heaviest export lambs over 30kg cwt sold from $239 to a top of $283, with the estimated carcase price across the main runs easing to 775c.

On a carcase basis most lambs were making from 780c to 860c.

Medium and lighter domestic processing lambs made from $170 to $190. Small lambs under 18kg cwt sold from $120 to $155 for the better lines with local agents still sourcing store lambs against moslem kill processing orders and some feedlot activity.

Heavy Merino wethers made from $236 to $250 while Merino ewes in the 26-30kg carcase weight range also sold firmly at $183 to $220 to still average over $200.

Numbers weren't a problem at Dubbo on Monday with a yarding of only 6165, down by 3010 on the previous sale.

Lightweight lambs to the processors were firm with the 12kg to 18kg 2 scores selling from $146 to $176.

Lighter trade lambs were $4 cheaper while the heavier trade weights were firm.

Heavy weight lambs were $8 to $10 cheaper and more in places with the 24kg to 30kg lambs selling from $215 to $245, while a single pen of extra heavy weights over 30kg sold for $282.

The story Lamb prices continue to back-pedal amid Covid-19 fears first appeared on Farm Online.

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