More than a million sheep have been sold at Hamilton saleyards in 12 months for an estimated $191 million.
Hamilton Regional Livestock Exchange celebrated the milestone at Wednesday's sheep sale, where manager Chris Dahlenburg reported more than 700,000 lambs and 300,000 sheep had sold at the centre since July 2021.
"We have averaged one million sheep now for the past 10 years, so it's a busy year but an average throughput," Mr Dahlenburg said.
"The facility is holding up alright and it works pretty well to handle these numbers.
"The only thing that changes each year is when the peak comes through."
Mr Dahlenburg said the yard was experienced more lambs in June compared to a month ago.
Hamilton & District Stock Agents' Association president Warren Clark, Lanyon's, said Wednesday's sale offered nearly 14,000 head and tipped sheep throughput above one-million head.
Mr Clark estimated more than $191m in sheep and lamb sales had taken place this financial year.
"Prices were nearly $10 a kilogram in summer but the industry can't support that," he said.
"It has come back since then but we are talking nearly $8/kg still, with good domestic lambs making $200 a head.
"Overall it is right up there with one of the most consistent and best years of sales for producers, with the lamb market the cornerstone for the industry for quite a while."
Thomas Elder Markets senior analyst Matthew Dalgleish reported east coast lamb slaughter hit 358,384 head this week.
East coast lamb slaughter was 21 per cent above the five-year pattern for the week, while east coast sheep slaughter was 6pc above the five-year trend with 71,987 head reported for the week.
Kerr & Co auctioneer Zac van Wegen, Hamilton, said the end-of-financial year sale rush was due to producers aggressively cutting the tail end of lambs usually destined for spring sales.
"It's been a tough autumn and we have had huge consignments that would have come through later in a better season," he said.
He said the mild summer and delayed warm conditions meant some lambs failed to meet sucker weights earlier in the year.
"When the taps turns off and summer crops cut out there were huge numbers of stock on the market," he said.
"Prices have held up though, and we only had an odd tough sale with COVID and labour issues at processors limiting the amount of buyers at summer sales.
"Everyone has been flat out in the yards so we're all ready for a holiday."
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