Farm Tender

Lamb prices lift and Mutton stays strong at Bendigo this week

Yarding - 22,950 (+5500).
Lambs - 15,450 (+2750).
Sheep - 7500 (+2750).

Bigger yarding as the turn off of new season lambs gathers pace. Of the 15,450 lambs yarded, about 11,000 were young lambs. Quality was exceptionally good, with the majority of the young crossbred lambs coming in above 24kg cwt, and in very fresh condition. Demand also lifted again, driven by domestic orders with export competition still patchy at times. Price trends for lambs were dearer, the young lambs gaining $5t o $10/head on last week's improved rates. Heavy old season lambs sold at similar levels, with those under 28kg cwt were generally a few dollars stronger in a mixed run.

Two pens of extra heavy young lambs from 30 to 32kg, topped at $205, followed by $170 to $190/head for pens estimated between 26 to30kg cwt. There was a lot of young lambs in the 24 to 26kg cwt category sold from $162 to $178, to average $167/head. The main run of 22to 24kg cwt young lambs made from $157 to $168, to average $163/head. Due to the favorable season only limited lambs below 22kg cwt were available, these were strongly supported making from $137 to $158/head. Included in this range was some fresh Merino lambs that sold from $137 to $140/head. On a carcase basis the heaviest young lambs started at 600c, with most of the heavy trades tracking from 640c to685c/kg cwt. The genuine neat domestic lambs 18 to 23kg, did make premiums of 700c/kg cwt and over. Very little restocking demand was evident.

Extra heavy old season lambs made $190, to a top of $213/head. Once under 28kg most sales ranged from $150 to $180/head to processors across a mixed run of old season stock.

Sheep numbers also lifted as more ewes and wethers are sold off shears. There is tremendous weight on offer thanks to the season. Mutton prices were a few dollars either side of last week, for a similar carcase range, selling from 520c to 580c/kg cwt across the majority of sheep. Extra heavy crossbred ewes made from $175 to $215, heavy Merino ewes sold from $170 to $198, and heavy Merino wethers made from $180 to $200/head. Plainer sheep with less weight and condition sold from $96 to $135/head


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