Lower numbers help lift sheep, lamb prices

Sheep, lamb prices lifted by lower numbers

Sales
STRONG RESULT: Andy Hay, JH Hay and Sons, Kamarooka, sold 500 ewes and ewe lambs at Bendigo to a top price of $500.

STRONG RESULT: Andy Hay, JH Hay and Sons, Kamarooka, sold 500 ewes and ewe lambs at Bendigo to a top price of $500.

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Rain and lower numbers helped to push lamb and sheep prices higher after last week's significant price correction.

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Rain and lower numbers helped to push lamb and sheep prices higher after last week's significant price correction.

Fewer lambs were available to bidders at most major saleyards earlier this week due to wet weather over the weekend.

Buyers said that some direct sales had also been impacted as some trucks were unable to access stock in some regions.

The biggest impact was seen in NSW, where numbers at Dubbo dropped to less than 7100 suckers and just 2975 sheep.

Numbers also shrank at Corowa in southern NSW, although not to the same extent.

This week for the first time in several weeks at Corowa, additional buyers joined the buying group, however, not all were participating fully and one major domestic abattoir was shut due to COVID-19.

The market tracked $13-$16 a head dearer than last week for the better-covered trade lambs.

The bulk sold from $171-$224 to average 843 cents a kilogram carcase weight.

Good price gains of more than $16 were recorded for heavy lambs as buyers scrambled to fill orders.

Lambs weighing 26kg cwt and more sold between $235-$275, averaging 847c/kg cwt.

The sheep market rallied by $13-$22, pushed along by a major buyer buying for the north.

Ewe mutton averaged 615c/kg, while Merino wethers recorded a top price of $190 and average price of 606c/kg cwt.

At Bendigo there were 16500 young lambs yarded, while sheep numbers halved to 4500.

Buyer competition intensified across all weights and grades which pushed heavy lambs $10-$19 dearer than a week ago.

Trade and lighter lambs were quoted $4-$8 dearer.

The National Livestock Reporting Service said the heavier new-season lambs weighing 26-30kg were in limited numbers, selling from $220-$268 to an estimated 878c/kg.

Sales of well-bred store lambs returning to the paddock were dearer making from $152-$178.

There was still solid bidding for plainer, lighter weight store suckers, which ended up averaging the same money as the previous week of $146.

Sheep prices improved by $4-$15, with trade sheep the main category enjoying the price hike.

Trade sheep sold from $125-$165, averaging 560-621c/kg cwt.

Heavy sheep sold between $145-$200

It was a dearer market overall at Ballarat on Tuesday, where the quality was very good for lambs and sheep.

In the bigger yarding of 30,258 lambs and 5728 sheep, heavy lambs were $7 dearer, averaging 908c/kg cwt.

Trade lambs were unchanged to $7-$8 dearer to average 899c/kg cwt.

  • Leann Dax is an NLRS reporter
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