Farm Tender

Bendigo Lamb market operated on two price levels

Yarding - 10,500 (-8500)
Lambs - 8000 (-6000)
Sheep - 2500 (-2500)

Lamb and sheep numbers showed a significant decline in recent weeks, with less than 11,000 head offered. Quality remained mixed with well-bred and fed lambs in limited supply. Buyer competition was keener which was led by domestic processors and saw 20 to 26kg lambs recording the biggest price gains. Bidding on heavier lambs remained selective, with buyers not prepared to pay higher rates for any plainer presented stock in woolly skins. One northern-based export processor was absent this week, and others remained quiet. Overall the sale operated on two price levels, the best hard-fed domestic lambs in short-skins selling at higher carcase price points compared to heavy and secondary long-skinned types. It meant the auction recorded a wide carcase price spread, starting at around 720c for plainer exports and reaching a peak of 1,000c/kg cwt on a few pens of ideal trade weight lambs.

Heavy export lambs made from $248 to a top of $282/head for an estimated average of 775c/kg cwt. Most heavy 26 to 30kg lambs made from $210 to $250/head with carcase results varying depending on quality and size. The strength of the market was on nicely presented trade lambs weighing 20 to 24kg, which sold from $180 to $220 for the bulk and isolated pens making to a top of $238/head. Merino lambs across all weight categories sold dearer.

Sheep numbers were limited and quality was mixed. Price trends were firm to dearer, despite one major buyer of recent weeks not operating. Heavy crossbred ewes sold from $200 to $258, and big Merino ewes made to $262/head. There was not as much weight in the Merino whether run this sale with the top sale making $196/head.

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