Nearly 20,000 lambs and 8000 sheep were yarded as numbers increased following the previous week's cancelled market due to
the Labour Day public holiday. There was a big variance in lamb quality as the dry season impacts carcase finish, with the lead of
heavy lambs tending to be off grain or irrigation. Bidding was quality driven which resulted in some price fluctuations. The price
trend for heavier slaughter lambs weighing over 20kg was firm to $2 to $5/head dearer compared to a fortnight ago, while very
plain and light weight lambs were cheaper amid little restocker demand. The highlight of the sale, however, was mutton as
northern processors pushed into heavy sheep.
The heaviest export lambs sold to $220, and the pen was one of seven to make over $200/head for lambs weighing 32kg plus.
Most heavy lambs in the 26-30kg range sold from $164 to $194, while the pick of the neat domestic lambs sold from $142 to
$162/head. On a carcase basis the heaviest lambs averaged an estimated 590c/kg, while there were premiums of 610c to
650c/kg cwt for the best domestic pens. However, when all the plainer lambs lacking finish and showing dryness were added into
calculations most of the trade weight lambs averaged 600c/kg cwt across the sale. Small and light weight lambs made from $90
Sheep sold to very strong processor competition, particularly heavy crossbred and Merino ewes due to the influence of northern
export orders. Heavy crossbred ewes in 4 score condition reached $188 and averaged $165/head. Heavy Merino ewes sold to
$171, with the general run of trade weight pens selling from $90 to $120/head, an improvement on a fortnight ago. Most sheep
were estimated from 430c to 470c/kg for processors, and in an unusual result, some of the heaviest ewes were among the
highest priced on a carcase basis.