Lamb prices continue to climb on year-ago levels

Lamb prices continue to climb on year-ago levels

Sales
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Heavy lambs spiked last week as demand ran ahead of supply.

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BUSY: Mark Jolliffe and Ryan Browne, Kevin Miller Whitty Lennon and Company, Young, NSW, were busy buying at Dunedoo, NSW, recently.

BUSY: Mark Jolliffe and Ryan Browne, Kevin Miller Whitty Lennon and Company, Young, NSW, were busy buying at Dunedoo, NSW, recently.

The rising Australian dollar against the US currency may work against lamb export values moving further into the new year.

It comes as saleyard lamb prices continue to climb above last year's rates during the past few weeks.

By the end of last week, the heavy lamb market spiked as demand for heavy lambs ran ahead of supply.

Price gains of $10 to $18 were recorded at Wagga Wagga, NSW, with carcase weights over 30 kilograms averaging 743 cents a kilogram.

The bulk of the lambs over 30kg cwt made from $255 to $284.

The lamb market performed on quality, with buyers prepared to support lambs grain-assisted weighing more than 26kg cwt.

However, buyers pulled back on lambs longer in the wool and those which presented dry.

In the trade market major domestic processors came under pressure to the reduction in supply.

Heavy lambs amid warmer months

The NSW is well into its summer flush of trade lambs, with many producers now preferring to hold back stock to grain assist their lambs.

This gives producers the opportunity to push lambs into extra heavy weight categories with bigger price gains on offer.

In the trade market prices jumped $20 with supermarkets dominating the sale for lambs weighing 21kg to 24kg.

The bulk of the lambs weighing 22kg to 25kg sold at $200 to $230 to average 929c/kg cwt.

Erratic price results for lamb and mutton were noted in the opening sales on Monday as the market came under pressure from bigger supplies in the south and mixed quality as the summer progresses.

At Bendigo numbers more than doubled after last week's new heat policy capped numbers.

With better weather conditions agents mustered 21,000 lambs, up about 12,300.

Sheep numbers lifted to 3700.

Prices for trade lambs were quoted $7 to $12 cheaper by the National Livestock Reporting Service, which noted bidding was not as erratic as the previous sale.

However, in the same day the best heavy lambs weighing 26kg to 30kg cwt fluctuated with quite a significant price spread.

Prices ranged from $217 to $247 to ease $1 and average 817c/kg cwt.

Lambs over 30kg were limited and recorded a top price of $273 to average 776c/kg cwt.

Markets in NSW reported dearer trends over most categories.

At Corowa, NSW, numbers lifted and so did prices.

Trade lambs were keenly sought by supermarkets and gained $6 to average 897c/kg.

Heavy lambs at the peak of the sale hit $270 and surged $17 to average 850c/kg cwt.

The mutton market resulted in fall of $10 for heavy Merino ewes with the bulk selling from $197 to $221.

  • Leann Dax is an NLRS reporter.
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