Farm Tender

Bidding erratic at Bendigo

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Yarding - 20,000 (-4000)
Lambs - 13,000 (-4000)
Sheep - 7000 (0)

There was a cut to lamb numbers after the rain, with 13,000 yarded or 4,000 less than a week ago. Quality of the young lambs improved to show more maturity and carcass finish. Demand from processors was very strong, some chasing extra numbers to make up for a short-fall of supply further north in NSW after the Dubbo sale was cancelled and Corowa had a limited yarding. Bidding for young lambs was erratic with some price spikes late in the auction as buyers tried to fill orders. The overall price result for quality young lambs was firm to $10 to $20/head dearer in spots. In contrast, old lambs were cheaper, due in part to very mixed presentation as tail-end drafts are sold.

Export weight young lambs reached $323, and eight pens sold above $300/head. There was a lot of sales between $240 to $290/head for young lambs in the heavy trade weight categories. The hot spot of the auction was 24kg to 26kg cwt young lambs, the best fat score 4 crossbreds, averaging over $290/head to record the biggest price surge of the sale. The better runs of heavy young lambs averaged between 1020c to 1090c, with sales recorded over 1100c/kg cwt at times. Buyers were still selective on plainer domestic lambs that were border-line for being slaughter ready, these pens mostly made $180 to $230/head. Agents from Ballarat attended for the first time this spring, but there was only limited lambs to suit restocking. The few lines of young lambs to the paddock mostly made $160 to $190/head.

Old lambs were cheaper, and some buyers did drop back into this section to try and lower overall lamb buy-in costs.

The sheep sale was cheaper, with heavy mutton the most affected. Price falls of $10 to $20/head on a week ago was common. One key export processor from NSW was again absent. Heavy crossbred ewes made $190 to $205/head. More nicely weighted sheep in the 24kg to 30kg cwt section held their value better at $159 to $190/head for estimated cost of 630c to 655c/kg cwt.