Farm Tender

Lambs gained $5 to $10, but Sheep prices drop at Bendigo

Yarding - 30,000 (+7050).
Lambs - 21,000 (+5550)
Sheep - 9000 (+1500).

Another lift in supply with around 17,500 new season lambs plus 3,000 older shorn lambs. Quality remained very good with the bulk of the young lambs in fresh condition and weighing between 22 to 28kg cwt. Price trends were dearer, built around keen buying from a couple of domestic orders that started the market on a very strong note. Some early sales of trade weight lambs were up to $15/head dearer, but the sale did flatten as it progressed and also became patchy in places. The overall result was price gains of $5 to $10/head dearer across the good crossbred young lambs in the medium and heavy trade categories. Export weight young lambs were firm, as were the better finished pens of Merinos. There was more export competition across heavy old lambs which are starting to dwindle in number.

The heaviest young lambs made from $182 to a top of $200/head. Price results remained fairly tight across the bulk of the processing lambs at $160 to $180/head for pens sized from 22 to 28kg cwt. The average for the lead run of 24 to 26kg crossbred young lambs was $179.50, while the 22 to 24kg run averaged close to $170/head. These lambs sold from 680c to 730c/kg. Lighter processing lambs made from $130 to$155/head. For the first time this spring there was outside store demand with agents operating from Horsham and Ballarat. They paid from$130 to $146, purchasing lambs at an estimated 17 to 20kg cwt with few smaller types available.

Export weight old season lambs sold to a top of $220/head in a dearer result across the better bred and finished types.

Sheep numbers rose to 9,000 head as more ewes and wethers are sold after shearing and lamb weaning. Only a handful of processors followed the mutton market and prices fell by $10 to $25/head as demand weakened. Heavy sheep in fat score 5, 4 and 3 continue to dominate, thanks to the good season. Extra heavy crossbred ewes made from $146 to $180, while big Merino ewes sold from $160 to $193, and heavy Merino wethers made from $165 to $200/head. Plainer sheep made from $67 to $135/head. The estimated range for most mutton was 460c to 520c/kg cwt.


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