Farm Tender

Lambs up, Sheep down at Bendigo

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Yarding - 16,000 (-4700)
Lambs - 10,000 (-2500)
Sheep - 6000 (-2200)

It was a smaller yarding of both lambs and sheep. Quality of the old season lambs varied from just average to good, and some agents did lead their runs with the first decent lines of new season lambs. The market was considerably dearer, regaining the previous week's losses of $10 to $30/head and even more on individual pen comparisons. One major exporter was absent due to a plant closure and the strength of the market was domestic buyers. There was more restocking interest, with agents from Swan Hill, Kerang and Echuca active on lighter weight young lambs that have started to appear.

Heavy export old lambs sold to $331/head in a limited supply of stock above 30kg cwt. Most heavy lambs made from $235 to $280 and neat trade lambs made from $200 to $230/head. The bulk of these sales were in an estimated range of 900c to 980c, with buyers needing around 950c/kg cwt to be competitive on the better quality lines. Any fed Merino lambs showing style also sold above 900c/kg cwt. Sales below $200/head were for secondary lambs lacking fat cover and in rough skins.

The lead pens of new season lambs were of excellent quality, although condition and weight did tail-off quickly. The heaviest young lambs estimated in the 26 to 30kg cwt category, made from $265 to $280/head. Neat heavy trade young lambs sold from $216 to $255/head. It was estimated to be costing processors over 960c/kg cwt for the lead runs of young lambs. Pens of lighter store conditioned young lambs sold mostly from $130 to $170/head returning to the paddock.

Less sheep were yarded with the bulk being crossbred and Merino ewes. There was a lot of weight in the ewe run and the absence of a major NSW exporter did impact results. Heavy mutton was $10 to $20 cheaper, with big crossbred ewes making from $194 to $226/head. Good trade sheep fared better to be firm to cheaper, while there was some stronger results on light sheep amid limited supplies.