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Yarding - 24,000 (+7000)
Lambs - 17,000 (+4500)
Sheep - 7000 (+2500)
There was a bigger supply again this week as young lamb numbers start to build. The yarding comprised around 9,500 new season lambs and 7,500 old shorn lambs. Competition was again buoyant on any well finished lambs with weight, however buyers were selective on off bred types that lacked fat cover. Price results were firm to dearer on the best presented lambs for slaughter, while plainer old season lambs were often weaker. One NSW based exporter was absent, with all the other regular orders operating but often not to capacity. A high of $332/head was achieved for young lambs, a record for Bendigo and a possible new National record. The lambs were unshorn and aged 5 months but had been fed on grain for the past eight weeks and were estimated to have a carcase weight of 33kg.
The presentation of young lambs was very mixed with many pens lacking consistent fat cover and finish. This was reflected in results, with the best fat score 3 and 4 lambs trending above 1,000c, but plainer types ranging from 900c to 980c/kg cwt. There was just four pens above $300/head for export weight lambs. Most of the lead pens were in the 24 to 26kg cwt range and sold from $248 to $290 to average $268/head at a cost of more than 1000c/kg cwt. The general run of young domestic lambs sold from $200 to $238/head. There was not as many smaller store conditioned young lambs this week and any bigger lines to the paddock were dearer, making between $155 and $178/head.
Heavy export old lambs sold from $280 to $344/head. Price patterns mirrored the young lambs, with buyers prepared to pay for quality but selective on plainer stock which were often a few dollars cheaper.
There was a bigger yarding of sheep as more old ewes are culled after lambing. Prices were cheaper with extra heavy ewes the most affected due to one key export company not operating. Conversely, there was some very strong sales of light mutton under 20kg cwt. Heavy crossbred ewes made mostly from $190 to $233, while heavy Merino ewes in higher value skins sold to $268/head. Few lines of Merino wethers were available, the best selling to $230/head. Most sheep averaged 600c to 680c/kg cwt, with higher sales for light mutton at times.