Rain has worked its magic on sheep and lamb markets by intensifying demand in the north.
Price gains were recorded at Wagga Wagga, NSW, for all categories from small store lambs through to the heaviest export lambs, which sold to a top price of $333 a head.
Prices jumped $10-$13 for heavy export lambs, with other sales above 30 kilograms carcase weight ranging from $295-$320 to average 905 cents a kilogram.
The rain also impacted the mutton market on the day with prices jumping $10-$15.
Fletchers International mopped a large percentage of the 11,000 sheep offered, with fears sheep supplies in the north would be limited.
Heavy sheep average 600-635c/kg cwt.
The lamb market this week strengthened against a build-up of stock being sold in the south.
At Hamilton agents pushed through just on 100,000 lambs between Wednesday last week and Monday in a huge week for western district sheep sales.
Monday's market reported selling 39,063 head in a strong sale for both trade and heavy lambs.
Rates for heavy trade lambs range from $189 to $236 to average 906c/kg cwt.
Lambs estimated to weigh between 26kg and 30kg cwt bounced $20 a head making from $239-$293 to average 948c/kg cwt.
Prices for light lambs were erratic with rates at times all over the shop.
The better framed young lambs returning to the paddock made from $151-$178.
There was a similar result recorded at Corowa, NSW, on the same day.
Meat & Livestock Australia's National Livestock Reporting Service indicated a dollar range of $203-$226 for the better presented suckers which weighed 22-24kg.
The store market remained solid, supported by traders from the local area.
The better lines of store lambs sold from $140-$169.
Prices were $10 to $26 per head dearer at Corowa for mutton across a yarding of 3500.
Heavy crossbred ewes made from $180-$229 with sales averaging 650c/kg cwt.
Trade sheep gained $9 to average 634c/kg cwt.
Meanwhile, in another southern market, the Bendigo sale was quoted firm to $8 cheaper over a mixed offering of young lambs, with a fair percentage showing dryness
There were fewer heavy lambs above 26kg cwt available in central Victoria which was evident with just a handful of pens making above $243 to a top of $273.
Trade lambs averaged 833c/kg cwt.
For the last lamb market of 2021 at Ballarat numbers climbed to 48,339.
The sale held its form with trade lambs unchanged to $4 dearer.
Heavy lambs sold to similar rates and topped at $295 to average 922ckg cwt.
Mutton lost its shine at Bendigo and dipped $15 a head to average 587c/kg to 628c/kg cwt.
- Leann Dax is an NLRS market reporter.