Lamb supply recovered from the extremely low levels of a week ago to push back up to 10,000 head. Competition was the issue with the buying ranks impacted by Coronavirus outbreaks at some Victorian meatworks and winter slowdowns at others. There was no supermarket activity, and at least four other companies didn't operate or bought very little. A lot of lambs were $20 to $30/head cheaper, with the weaker trend sweeping through all breeds and weights. Agents did pass a few pens in.
Sales above $200 were rare, with the market reaching a top of $207/head for heavy export lambs weighing in excess of 30kg cwt. The main run of heavy crossbred lambs, 26 to 30kg, $170 to $199/head. The better presented trade weight lambs made from $155 to $180/head. With very little depth to buyer demand, any plain or mixed small lots of lambs were discounted. It created a price spread of 600c to 700c over the bulk of the processor lambs, with the pick of the domestic pens managing a slight premium to track above 700c/kg cwt. A few pens of fresh new season lambs in the trade weight categories sold to $188/head and did record some of the best carcase estimates of the market. Lightweight crossbred lambs under 20kg fluctuated from $118 to $150/head. Competition for Merino lambs was selective. The best heavy fed Merinos to $197, with lighter and plainer types generally from $124 to $170/head.
A northern based exporter returned to compete on mutton, paying to $210/head for very big crossbred ewes. Heavy Merino wethers to $200and the good lines of shorn wethers had the best carcass price results. But the sheep sale overall was cheaper and erratic. Most sheep from$120 to $170/head.