Bendigo Sheep and Lamb

August 20, 2019

Yarding    15544
Change     3689

Lambs     11046
Change    2346

Sheep      4498
Change   1343

Lamb numbers increased, boosted by the appearance of new season lambs with 3,600 included in the draw. All the usual buyers attended plus an additional order from a local abattoir that has reopened after an extended closure. The market was erratic, and there was some stronger results late in the sale and also for any stand-out lambs in short-skins. The overall result was an easier trend of $7 to $12/head
across the new season lambs to processors, while heavy old season lambs recorded similar price corrections. Lightweight and plain old season lambs held their value the best thanks to ongoing MK processor support. Heavy new season lambs sold to $236, but it proved a one-off sale with the balance of the 24kg to 26kg cwt pens making from $205 to $225/head. The majority of the young lambs to processors were in the 22kg to 24kg cwt range and sold from $190 to $205 to average $197/head at an estimated average of 810c/kg cwt. Medium weight young lambs with less finish sold from $158 to $170/head to also record carcass rates around the 800c/kg cwt mark. Restocker interest is increasing as more young lambs become available. The best lines of young lambs 16kg to 18kg cwt to the paddock, made from $140 to $147, and the next size down made from $121 to $138/head. There was another large draft of young May/June drop Merino lambs sent down from NSW which made $111 to $138/head, cheaper than a week ago but still among the highest carcass rates in the sale due to size. The line-up of old lambs has become very patchy as tail-end drafts are sold. The heaviest lambs, often in pen lots of less than 10 head, sold from $240 to a top of $269/head. There was a lot of trade and heavy old lambs between $170 to $220/head, with buyers applying discounts for any poorly presented longer-wool lots. On a carcass basis old lambs fluctuated between 700c to 800c/kg cwt depending on quality, with just select sales higher. Lightweight lambs bucked the trend to be firm to dearer in places at $110 to $140/head for most as exporters filled MK (Muslim Kill) orders. Sheep numbers lifted, with some resonable numbers of Merino wethers and ewes offered. The supply of big crossbred sheep is currently limited. Bidding for mutton was also erratic, but generally at dearer levels to a week ago. The best lines of Merino wethers and ewes tracked over 600c/kg cwt, reaching a top of $201/head. Big crossbred ewes topped at $210/head, but on a carcass price basis were easier.