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Yarding - 31,000 +11,000)
Lambs - 20,000 (+7000)
Sheep - 11,000 (+4000)
There was a big lift in young lamb and sheep supplies to take the overall yarding above 30,000 head, a surge of 30% on a week ago. New season lambs made up the bulk of the lamb offering, with quality very good on the top-end drafts but many pens still showing signs of needing more sunshine and time to finish properly. All regular buyers attended, and a key NSW based exporter was back buying sheep. Price results were mixed and based around size and quality. Lambs with weight remained well supported, with prices for the best heavy young lambs firm and export sized shorn lambs dearer. Prices were weaker over medium and light trades, these categories of young lambs sold mostly $3 to $10/head easier in an auction that lost momentum late in the day. Plainer, old trade lambs fell by $10 to $20/head. But the sale did experience more restocking activity, and any good lines of store lambs to the paddock were dearer.
The heaviest young lambs held their value at $278 to $317/head to still cost a ballpark 1000c/kg cwt. A wider price range was evident over trade lambs at $190 to $260/head, while there was still pens over 1000c the majority of sales were estimated between 920c to 980c/kg cwt. Specialist Ballarat finishers paid from $190 to $219/head for well-bred and leaner trade weight lambs in the 20kg to 22kg cwt range. Lighter store lambs weren't available in big numbers and were dearer at $150 to $180/head for most. The stronger restocking activity meant MK meat lamb buyers were pressured into buying bigger stock at $160 to $190/head.
Heavy old lambs were dearer at $264 to a top of $328/head, often matching young lambs on carcass price basis. Plainer trade weight old lambs were cheaper at $170 to $220/head.
Sheep numbers continued to build as more ewes are sold off shears. A key NSW exporter returned to the buying field and dominated purchases of heavy mutton, pushing prices $20 to $30/head dearer. When a couple of export buyers clashed a few pens of heavy crossbred ewes sold at $250 to $286, however the bulk of sales sold from $190 to $230/head. Heavy Merino sheep mostly sold from $160 to $220/head. Plain light sheep were cheaper. The majority of sheep were estimated in a range of 620c to 700c/kg cwt.