Yarding - 17,000 (-4200)
Lambs - 12,500 (-3200)
Sheep - 4500 (-1000)
Lamb numbers eased and quality also dropped away with less weight and finish evident across the yarding compared to recent weeks. Bidding competition between buyers was much more intense, particularly on the best export lambs and the neatest trade weights suiting high-end domestic orders. The bulk of the lambs showed price rises of $10 to $20/head. The mutton market also recorded some big price gains.
Heavy export lambs sold from $236 to a top of $295/head for an estimated average of 760c/kg cwt. Heavy lambs 26 to 30kg made from $210to $244 to average $225/head at an estimated carcass weight of 780c/kg cwt. The hot spot of the auction was ideal domestic lambs at 20-22kg cwt which sold to $216/head and averaged over 900c/kg cwt, with limited availability a factor in the strong result. The best 22 to 24kgcwt lambs made from $190 to $220/head. However, there was also a lot of plainer bred and finished trade weight lambs, making $175 to$210/head, which showed a carcass spread of 780c to 870c/kg depending on size, quality, and number in a pen. Most Merino lambs lacked fatcover and were generally in the plainer trade categories at $160 to $185/head this week. Light lambs were dearer on very mixed quality offering.
A total of 4,500 sheep were yarded, and while not all meat companies operated, prices still lifted significantly. Big crossbred ewes ranged from $210 to $256/head. Heavy Merino wethers sold from $200 to $235/head. Mutton was costing over 700c/kg cwt with most categories averaging between 650c to 700c/kg cwt. Light sheep attracted spirited bidding.
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