Yarding - 25,800 (+5800).
Lambs - 20,000 (+6000).
Sheep - 5800 (-200)
Increase in lamb numbers to 20,000 head as the dry weather starts to influence selling decisions. The other supply driver was cropping programs, with agents selling more Merino wethers out of the Wimmera and Mallee as paddocks are prepared for sowing. Demand was dull, with two export companies not attending and most other processors buying less than usual. Prices were $5 to $10 easier, with supersized export lambs over 35kg cwt the most affected. The neatest domestic lambs in the 21-24kg cwt range and Merinos sold to the best demand on the day. In an unusual result, carcass price averages for well finished Merino lambs often exceeded crossbred lambs of the same weight.
Bidding reached a top of $278 for big export lambs at an estimated 40kg cwt, and only half a dozen pens made over $260 despite some excellent weight and quality on offer. The bulk of the crossbred lambs weighing over 30kg cwt sold from $225 to $255 for a carcass spread of670c to 750c/kg to average between 710-720c/kg cwt. Underneath this was a lot of heavy and heavy trade crossbred lambs at $184 to $220for a carcass range of 700c to 780c/kg over the majority of sales. In the crossbred run only ideally weighted and very neat domestic lambs sold above 800c/kg cwt, and sales at this price point were limited. Merino lambs produced some of the best results in the sale at $180 to $217/head. Local agents were again active on plainer conditioned trade lambs at $160 to $185 to feed on for the winter. Lightweightprocessing lambs mostly $135 to $155; secondary and very small lambs $70 to $120.
Sheep numbers remained similar to a week ago. Merino wethers and ewes are now dominating with the supply of heavy crossbred ewes now low. Most processors were still keen for some mutton and while prices were on an easing trend, good lines of ewes and wethers remained comfortably over 600c/kg cwt
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