The lamb market is starting to show some confidence after the big price drop in processor demand that has hit the saleyards in the past few months.
Rates in the last few weeks have started to improve, with farmers having reacted to the cheaper trends by reducing numbers into the auction system.
A case in point has been Victoria with numbers down on the usual flow this time of year.
Last week prices begun to lift in both NSW and Victoria with jumps of $10-$20 at most selling centres.
At Wagga Wagga, NSW, on Thursday numbers dipped to 26,000 lambs, down 6,000 on the previous week.
New season lamb supplies increased to 14,400 and it was a remarkable line up of young lambs, with all domestic and export buyers stepping up to purchase a market share.
The intensity at the market this week was palpable, and prices kicked off $10-$15 dearer and climbed as the market progressed.
Heavy suckers weighing approximately 34 kilograms carcase weight recorded a top price of $218 other sales of heavy suckers ranged from $170-$217 to average 630c/kg cwt.
Supermarkets dominated the trade market paying from $158-$168 for lambs weighing 22-24kg. A run of heavy trade lambs average 670c/kg cwt.
There were a few pens of light new season lambs and restockers entered the fray paying from $120-$138.
Meanwhile the mutton market steamed ahead for the second week running, with Goulburn meats and Fletchers international going head-to-head for all heavy sheep weighing over 30kg cwt. Heavy mutton averaged $20 dearer to settle at around 575c/kg cwt.
The lamb markets have continued to gather pace gaining another $3-$10 at all saleyards on Monday.
Nearly all classes of stock were quoted dearer by the National Livestock Reporting Service thanks to a mix of strong domestic and export processor demand with improving confidence coming from the processing sector.
New season lambs 21-26kg were the standout at both southern and NSW saleyards.
All lamb indicators are now above 640c/kg with the trade lamb indicator jumping 39c to rest at 676c/kg carcass weight.
At Bendigo the market gained momentum with the dearer rates rolling through from last week's dearer trends.
Trade lambs jumped $10 making from $140-$168 to average 685c/kg cwt,
Domestic buyers boosted demand for lambs 22-26kg with rates $3-$9 dearer averaging 681c/kg cwt.
Heavy suckers sold at $166-$205.
At Ballarat on Tuesday agents yarded only 3600 lambs and 3200 sheep.
Quality was plain to very good, with trade and heavy lambs in short supply.
The small buying group operated in a mostly firm-to-cheaper market.
- Leann Dax is an NLRS market reporter.