Bendigo Sheep and Lamb

February 18, 2019

Yarding 16800
Change -3830

Lambs 13000
Change -1280

Sheep 3800
Change -2550

Lamb numbers eased again, while sheep supplies dropped by 40% for an overall yarding of less than 17,000 head. Quality was again mixed, reflecting the season, with well finished pens of trade and export lambs in limited supply. There was very few Merino lambs in the offering, but an increase in Dorpers. Processor demand was much keener than recent weeks, despite some domestic and export buyers still not operating fully. Prices for all stock showed a dearer trend, with premiums evident for the best domestic and heavy slaughter lambs which lifted back over 700c/kg cwt. There wasn’t a big selection of export lambs, most pens over 30kg cwt sold from $200 to $220, with just two sales at higher levels for the sale tops of $230 and $240/head. Domestic buyers were active on heavy lambs, helping drive a much dearer price result over pens in the 26-28kg cwt range which sold from $179 to just over $200/head. The main draft of medium tradeweight lambs sold from $160 to $188/head. Price results for domestic lambs were linked to quality, with premiums of over 700c paid for the better-bred and finished types ahead of the general run at an estimated 670c to 690c/kg. Store lamb quality and volume wasn’t as good as a week ago, and less lambs sold to the paddock. Overall the selection of small light weight lambs was generally plain, however prices still showed improvement over the majority. Sheep supply was much tighter, and quality was also plainer with fewer lines of well-presented first-cross and Merino ewes available. Demand from buyers was at much stronger levels, resulting in dearer price trends of $10 to $30/head. Heavy crossbred ewes sold at $115 to $165 to average around $143/head. Heavy Merino sheep made $115 to $149/head. The heaviest sheep were estimated as costing processors close to 400c, with rates improving to 430c to 460c/kg across the main lines of tradeweight Merino wethers and ewes.