Finally, the lamb market has steadied after a shortage of quality led to a price recovery.
The other factor is more kill space has opened at some abattoirs which has allowed production to increase.
Rates late last week strengthened following price corrections which spanned several weeks.
Heavy lambs gained $12-$21 a head despite companies such Australian Lamb Company, Thomas Foods International and Fletchers International not operating fully, or at all at some auctions.
This was amid reports processors adequate numbers flowing direct to abattoirs or have shut for winter maintenance.
Heavy lambs weighing 26-30 kilograms picked up $21 at Wagga Wagga, NSW, on Thursday.
Meat & Livestock Australia's National Livestock Reporting Service estimated a carcase weight about 753 cents a kilogram across the heaviest pens weighing more than 30kg carcase weight.
Bidding reached a top of $280 for grain-assisted lambs up about 38kg, and similar carcase weights rates were recorded at Griffith, NSW.
Lambs suiting Coles and Woolworths tracked $13 dearer, with price spikes of up to 957c/kg cwt.
Lambs in the 21-24kg bracket traded at $172-$222 to average 836c/kg cwt.
Light-weight lambs were well supplied and processors purchased a significant number, selling from $92-$142
At the close of selling, the national saleyard price indicator for trade lambs jumped 34c/kg to be listed at 777c/kg and heavy lambs gained 22c/kg to rest at 726c/kg cwt.
Mutton climbed out of the doldrums by 22c/kg to sit at 595c/kg, despite being 100c/kg lower year-on-year.
In opening markets on Monday expectations were somewhat dampened as markets moved sideways.
At Bendigo, the average price for lambs averaged 780-830c/kg cwt with lambs in short skins and good finish receiving the premium prices.
The shortage of quality trade lambs caused prices to fluctuate, with bidding lacking consistency, according to the National Livestock Reporting Service.
The better-present lambs weighing 21-24kg made from $190-$215.
Heavy lambs 26-30kg were solid performers and made from $217-$240.
Big, heavy lambs topped the market at $287 to average 740c/kg cwt.
Domestic and export processors were very selective and lamb prices were weaker in a bigger yarding at Ballarat of 17,000 lambs and 3562 sheep.
Trade lambs sold $5-$10 easier with 22-24kg lambs making $184-$209.
Heavy lambs were unchanged to $4 easier.
They sold at $216-$278 to average 790-810c/kg cwt.
Meanwhile, a smaller field of processors were operating in the mutton sale at central Victoria in Ballarat, with trade and heavy sheep averaging 580-640c/kg cwt.
- Leann Dax is an NLRS market reporter.