Farm Tender

Heavier Lambs with good fat cover were the most eagerly sought at Bendigo

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Yarding - 27,000 (-7000)
Lambs - 17,000 (-5000)
Sheep - 10,000 (-2000)

Lamb numbers dropped back again to 17,000 head, 5000 less than a week ago. Quality also declined, with quality lambs over 26kg cwt scarce in the yarding which comprised more plainer and light young lambs that showed signs of having gone dry in the skin. The market was cheaper, but did perform around lamb quality and weight. Heavier lambs with good fat cover were the most eagerly sought. Prices fell by $5 to $20/head compared to last Monday. Not all regular buyers attended or operated fully.

One pen of extra heavy export lambs to $290, while the best price for unshorn lambs was $279/head for an estimated 30kg cwt. Most of the heavier lambs were in the 26-28kg cwt bracket and sold from $250 to $270/head for both shorn and unshorn for estimated averages of 840c to 890c/kg cwt. The market showed a lot more variance over the general run of trade and light lambs at $175 to $220/head. As an example, the best fat score 4 trade lambs in the 22-24kg cwt range averaged $215 and were estimated at close to 870c, while the plainer run of first-cross types averaged $199/head at a ballpark cost of 810c/kg cwt. The bulk of the trade lambs sold from $175 to $220/head. Store lambs to the paddock were cheaper by $3 to $9/head amid a plainer run that included more smaller and mixed lots. Better framed store lambs $152 to $170, and smaller types $90 to $140/head.

Modest reduction in sheep supply at 10,000 head, down 2,000. Yarding comprising mostly crossbred and Merino ewes with only a small component of wethers. Mutton prices were cheaper, the heaviest crossbred ewes slipping below 600c/kg cwt at $200 to $220/head. The main run of heavy Merino ewes $160 to $195/head. Light sheep still sold strongly in comparison at $115 to $114/head. Most sheep estimated as costing from 600c to 650c/kg cwt.