Lamb volumes rise in Victoria, as farmers gear up for NSW harvest

Lamb volumes rally in Victoria as farmers gear up for NSW harvest

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BENALLA: Rodwells auctioneer Adam Roberts with Bruce Kealey and daughter Rachel, Tamleugh, who purchased 104 first-cross ewe lambs from J & R Koop, Nioka for $255.

BENALLA: Rodwells auctioneer Adam Roberts with Bruce Kealey and daughter Rachel, Tamleugh, who purchased 104 first-cross ewe lambs from J & R Koop, Nioka for $255.

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Prices are still strong despite the influx of new season lambs.

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Lamb volumes in southern sales surged last week, while in NSW numbers eased as farmers prepare for the upcoming seasonal harvest.

Saleyards in Victoria experienced some of the biggest sales this spring, as numbers in NSW markets generally declined or stabilised.

The rise in spring sheep numbers has so far had little effect on prices, analysts and agents say, with some industry insiders predicting the large numbers could continue up until Christmas.

Meat & Livestock Australia's National Livestock Reporting Service said there was a "dramatic increase" in numbers of new season lambs at Ballarat on Tuesday, with 38,515 sheep yarded.

The sale attracted a full field of buyers and the quality of the offering was promising as restockers were out in force for the light-weight new season lambs.

Prices at Ballarat were erratic in places, while sheep on the other hand were $5-10 a head dearer.

News season light 12-16 kilogram lambs made from $128 to $185 and most of these went to the paddock.

Trade lambs 18-22kg made from $170-$210 to average 850 cents a kilogram carcase weight.

Heavy trade lambs 22-26kgs made $172 to $254 to average 850-935c/kg cwt, while heavy lambs more than 26kg made up to $300.

It was a similar story at Bendigo on Monday with one of the bigger spring yardings for 2021, with 22,000 lambs and 12,500 sheep penned.

The NLRS reported quality improved in the lamb run, with more first draft young lambs available from the southern regions of Pyalong, Kilmore and Yea, which all showed signs of an extended green grass season.

Bidding favoured heavier lambs, due in part to the influence of northern processing orders as a result of the wet conditions across NSW.

The heaviest young lambs averaged $5-$10 dearer, while the general run of medium and light trades in the 18-21kg cwt range weakened by $3-$8.

The few pens of heavy lambs over 30kg cwt from $289 to a top of $299.

Most heavy lambs over 26kg cwt from $260 to $285, and the heavy trades, 24-26kg cwt, from $220 to $250, while bigger volumes of medium and light trades, 18-24kg cwt, ranged from 780-880c/kg cwt.

Across the Murray River in NSW, numbers declined significantly, according to the NLRS, which said numbers at Wagga Wagga, NSW, last week dipped as producers gear up for harvest.

A smaller group of buyers resulted in a softer market as not all domestic buyers operated at the sale, while other companies made purchases occasionally.

Prices tracked $2-$6 cheaper as lambs 21 to 24kg sold from $183-$219 to average 847c/kg cwt.

Meanwhile, numbers at Corowa, NSW, on Monday remained consistent with just 6650 new season lambs sold.

Restockers and feedlot buyers joined the regular buying group adding to competition across the light lamb offering as prices were mostly $5-$12 softer.

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