Lamb prices rally as saleyards experience a winter influx

Lamb prices rally as saleyards experience a winter influx

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A look at how the lamb and mutton market is playing out.

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SELL OFF: Brad Gabell and Brie Harvey, both from Jervois, SA, sold lambs at Mount Pleasant, SA, earlier this month.

SELL OFF: Brad Gabell and Brie Harvey, both from Jervois, SA, sold lambs at Mount Pleasant, SA, earlier this month.

More lambs at saleyards last week had little effect on the exciting run of prices as the industry steps closer to spring.

It was the biggest winter yarding at Wagga Wagga, NSW, in living memory, according to Blake and Co auctioneer Mark Login.

Numbers jumped to 42,300 lambs and 11,500 sheep.


Aside from the high prices acting as a lure into the auction system, Riverina producers are running out of time before the perennial problem of teeth begin to arise in their flocks.

The bulk of the offering was outstanding with the biggest percentage of the lamb offering weighing above 30 kilograms carcase weight.

These big super-sized lambs improved by $7 a head, with plenty of sales between $290-$318, and the bulk averaging 737 cents a kilogram cwt.

Magnificent Merino lambs weighing 29kg and carrying a $30 skin recorded a top price of $258, to average 783c/kg cwt.

When you drill down through the Wagga Wagga lamb statistics, producers have moved away from turning off trade lambs, with their focus on finishing extra heavy stock.

The limited section of trade lambs sold from $165-$245, with trade lambs 22-24kg averaging 943c/kg cwt.

After big rainfall totals over the past few weeks in NSW, producers are heading towards an exceptional spring with a bank of feed in front of them.


Surprisingly new season lambs made their first appearance this year and it is only mid-July.

Agents mustered more than 1000 top quality suckers with most weighing from 21-24kg.


Prices for suckers at Wagga Wagga ranged from $198-$248.

Meanwhile, there was only a slight correction for mutton this week despite the bigger yarding and less buying competition.

Heavy crossbred ewes sold to $241 and woolly wethers to $265.

Good lines of mutton continued to trend about 609-639c/kg.

Historical price data shows the odds of a winter premium for lambs does favour the farmer and this week processors delivered yet another rate rise.

At Bendigo prices lifted again with the bigger increase around weight.

However, any genuine domestic lambs in a range of 22-24kg sold $5 stronger to average 930c/kg cwt.

Heavy export demand ramped up several notches with prices rallying by as much as $12-$15.

Prices ranged for those under 30kg cwt while the big super heavy sold from $272-$315 to average 856c/kg cwt.

In the Ballarat lamb market, agents sold just under 15,000 lambs and 3987 sheep.

Rates jumped $9-$19 for trade lambs with heavy trade breaking the 1000c/kg cwt barrier to average 951c/kg.

Buyers bid strongly for heavy lambs resulting in price gains of up to $20 to average 854-924c/kg cwt.

  • Leann Dax is an NLRS market reporter.
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