Farm Tender

Lamb buyers selective which pushed prices lower at Bendigo

Yarding - 74,000 (+31,000).
Lambs - 34,000 (-2000)
Sheep - 40,000 (+33,000).

Just a slight reduction in lamb numbers for another big yarding of 34,000 head. Numbers were dominated by young crossbred lambs which accounted for around 26,000 head, the balance being Merinos and old season and shorn lambs. A full field of buyers attended again this week, but were more selective with their bidding and most slaughter lambs were $10 to $15/head easier. The market also showed price differences based around breed quality and finish for lambs of the same weight. An example of this was in the trade lamb category of 22 to 24kg cwt, with the best fat score 4 young lambs averaging an estimated 783c compared to 763c/kg for plainer first cross. Small and lightweight young lambs, which remain limited, eased by $3 to $5/head. Store competition was not as extensive this week, with just a couple of buyers operating from Ballarat plus some local support.

The heaviest young lambs over 30kg cwt sold from $222 to a top of $248, and across the yarding there was only about a dozen sales over $230/head. It required a good 26kg cwt lamb to make above $200/head this week. There was a lot of medium and heavy trade weight lambs which sold from $165 to $195/head. On a carcase basis most slaughter lamb categories averaged from 750c to 780c/kg cwt. SpecialistBallarat finishers paid to $214/head for heavy trade lambs to shear, but didn't buy the volumes of a week ago. Smaller lambs to processors and restockers mostly from $130 to $155/head. Young Merino lambs made from $150 to a top of $191 for the better finished types, and on a carcase basis were often at a similar price point to some of the crossbreds.

Similar supply of sheep, again dominated by heavy types thanks to the good season. Not all processors competed and prices did fluctuate for a result that was in the ballpark of a week ago on a carcase price basis. Most mutton was estimated between 550c to 620c/kg cwt. Bigcrossbred ewes made from $186 to $240; heavy Merino wethers sold from $182 to $220; heavy Merino ewes made from $175 to $227; plainer sheep mostly sold from $130 to $160 with poorer types making from $103 to $129/head


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