Slight lift in lamb numbers, but quality was more mixed than the previous weeks as turn-off heads deeper into winter. All the regular buyers attended and competition for the major lines of supplementary fed lambs weighing over 24kg cwt was very strong, and estimated carcase prices crept up again to be sitting above 1,000c/kg cwt. The middle run of plainer domestic lambs, many lacking fat cover, were just similar to the previous week. The other big improver of the sale was light weight lambs suitable for MK or ‘bag lamb’ orders, with price trends for stock
under 18kg cwt all trending dearer by $5 to $10/head.
The supply of extra heavy lambs over 30kg cwt was much more limited this week as they sold to $320, to be $20 shy of last Monday’s saleyard record of $340/head on less weight and quality. The strongest bidding was on the bigger pen lots of supplementary fed crossbred lambs. The 26-30kg cwt pens made from $274 to $320 to average $290, while the lead run of 24-26kg cwt lambs sold from $232 to
$288/head. On a carcase basis the bulk of these lambs were estimated to make from 920c to 1,060c, to return averages of just over 1,000c/kg cwt. The medium 22-24kg cwt lambs were firm, making from $222 to $263/head. There were some buoyant sales for light weight lambs, the better presented crossbreds in the 16-18kg cwt category making from $136 to $167 to average $151/head. The majority of the
Merino lambs this week were lighter and plainer types also benefited from processor demand for MK suitable stock. The best trade weight
Merino lambs off supplementary feed reached $240/head.
Sheep numbers continue to tighten, most noticeably across the heavy ewe categories. Most of the better lines of mutton this week were recently shorn Merino wethers. Price trends for sheep for generally firm, with odd pens higher as some buyers tested each other during the sale, an example being the top price of $260/head for crossbred ewes. Heavy Merino wethers made from $151 to $199, and the trade bodies received from $123 to $173/head, both categories tracking over 600c/kg cwt.