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Yarding - 18,500 (+2500)
Lambs - 14,000 (+2000)
Sheep - 4500 (+500)
There was a slight increase to lamb numbers with around 14,000 head yarded. Presentation and finish remained mixed, with quality slaughter lambs in the trade and heavy categories still in short supply against plainer winter affected stock. There was a couple of changes to the buying field, with one exporter returning after a maintenance shutdown while there was a couple of other orders that were either quiet or didn't purchase. The market was strong, with agents quoting heavy lambs as $5 to $10/head dearer, while trade lambs fluctuated around price levels of a week ago. Some of the plainer light lambs were cheaper on quality. There was interest for feedlot lambs to go onto grain provided they displayed good breed type and frame.
Plainer and light lambs mostly sold from $120 to $160/head to processors, with little to suit restockers at this time of year. Ideal trade lambs remained the hot spot of the auction, with the best presented 20 to 22kg types continuing to trend over 900c/kg cwt.
Competition for heavy lambs in the 26 to 30kg range was again boosted by domestic competition as buyers were keen on size and paid from$235 to $258/head, or averaged from 850c to 880c/kg cwt depending on size. Heavy export lambs sold to a top of $290 and was one of just a handful of sales to go above $280/head. Most of the export lambs over 30kg sold from $250 to $275/head to average over an estimated800c/kg cwt this week.
The sheep sale was rated as firm to dearer, with buyers quoting an estimated range of 680c to 730c/kg cwt for the better lines of Merino and crossbred mutton.