Farm Tender

Mutton off $20-$30 a head in the last sale of the year at Bendigo

Yarding - 28,500 (+3500).
Lambs - 18,500 (+1000)
Sheep - 10,000 (+2500).

A bigger yarding for the last sale at Bendigo this year with 18,500 lambs and 10,000 sheep. Lamb quality was very mixed, with the bulk of the unshorn young lambs now showing inconsistent fat cover and finish as the season dries out. Buyers did look to shorn lambs for better carcase quality, particularly in the heavy weight categories which gained up to $20 on last week. Most of the trade weight woolly lambs improved by $5 to $10 despite the plainer offering. However, bidding was erratic at times. In the store lambs there was some bigger lines of very small young lambs that sold strongly and made high carcase price rates, while the average run of lambs back to the paddock were firm.
Shorn lambs claimed nearly all of the sales above $230, reaching a top of $245/head. The best of the heavy shorn lambs averaged around800c/kg cwt. Bidding on heavy woolly lambs fluctuated around pen presentation and quality, which threw up a wider price range from $200 to a top of $236/head. The freshest heavy and medium trade lambs sold from $175 to $210/head. Plainer domestic lambs made from $155 to$175/head. On a carcase basis there was a spread of 720c to 820c/kg across the bulk of the yarding, with the better processing lambs averaging from 780c to 810c/kg. Specialist finishers from Ballarat were back again buying trade size lambs to shear from $170 to $207/head.
The average run of store lambs made from $142 to $155, with very small lambs selling from $110 to $142/head. Orders were from Gippsland, Shepparton, Rainbow, Horsham and the local north-east area.
Sheep prices fell by $20 to $30/head and even more in places as the intensity for mutton dropped away on the eve of the holiday period and abattoir shutdowns. Only a few pens of extra heavy sheep made over $200 to a top of $204/head. Most sheep sold from $130 to $180/head as prices reduced to an estimated 550c to 580c/kg cwt over the general run of Merinos. There was still some solid sales above 600c/kg cwt for feature lines of young Merino wethers.

The Bendigo lamb and sheep market will recommence on Monday, January 4, 2021.


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