Lamb volumes build in south as wet weather hampers NSW markets

Lamb volumes build in south as wet weather hampers NSW markets

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HAPPY VENDOR: Jo-ann Aay, Upper Hermitage, SA, at a recent Mount Pleasant, SA, sheep market.

HAPPY VENDOR: Jo-ann Aay, Upper Hermitage, SA, at a recent Mount Pleasant, SA, sheep market.

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A look at the weekly lamb and mutton markets.

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Supply is continuing to hold the lamb market together, with only slight moves in general price trends in the past week.

The extremely wet start to summer has placed some pressure in NSW on markets as numbers in the north decline, while in southern Victoria supply continues to gradually build.

The latest data from the saleyard sector highlights how supply of heavy lambs is currently lower than the pool of domestic and light lambs, and this is influencing price trends.

At Wagga Wagga, NSW, it was evident with shorn young lambs fueling the bidding and pushing prices $10 a head higher.

The top price was $318 for big second-cross lambs weighing an estimated 34 kilograms, while the next run of big lambs sold between $294-$310.

Despite some excellent quality and weight on offer, only half a dozen pens weighed more than 30kg carcase weight.

Fluctuating price results were recorded in opening markets for lamb and mutton, as the market comes under pressure from bigger supplies in the south and plainer volumes as the season progresses.

The most erratic market was Bendigo with Meat & Livestock Australia's National Livestock Reporting Service reporting the plainer quality and sporadic buyer competition made it difficult to quote sale prices.

Heavy lambs and plainer trade lambs were quoted $5-$15 cheaper.

Hamilton in the western district is now close to its peak selling period, yarding 24,980 lambs earlier this week.

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A larger yarding was anticipated for Wednesday.

Prices at Hamilton on Monday were quoted $10-$14 dearer for trade, while heavy lambs were unchanged by the NLRS, which noted the bidding was up and down as the sale progressed.

However, on the same day at Dubbo, NSW, the best heavy lambs weighing more than 26kg cwt were chased harder by exporters and were listed $10-$15 dearer.

Export shorn lambs reached $284 to average 905 cents a kilogram cwt.

The outcome at Corowa, NSW, had mixed results with trade lambs cheaper in some weight categories and dearer in another.

The mixed result saw an average price of 850c/kg cwt recorded in the northern market.

At Ballarat on Tuesday numbers surged ahead to 45,683, with the offering ranging from outstanding to plain.

Rates for trade lambs tracked firm for the better covered domestic lambs to $5 cheaper.

Prices ranges from $163-$234.

Heavy lambs at Ballarat sold to impressive prices for the 26-30kg range, selling between $256-$310 to average 949c/kg cwt.

Sheep rates rallied $5-$15, with heavy mutton averaging 672c/kg cwt.

  • Leann Dax is an NLRS market reporter.
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