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Yarding - 32,000 (+5000)
Lambs - 21,000 (+4000)
Sheep - 11,000 (+1000)
More lambs with 21,000 yarded, up 4,000 head on a week ago. Quality did decline, with the majority of unshorn lambs showing dryness and signs of having slipped in condition. Heavy slaughter lambs were again scarce, and it was the lead run of shorn lambs which showed the most weight. One major exporter didn't attend and a major domestic processor didn't purchase, and while the rest of the buying field was present they didn't show a lot of enthusiasm. The sale was difficult to quote due to the mixed quality and also the bidding fluctuations that occurred during the auction. Some heavy lambs, plainer trades and secondary store lambs were $5 to $15/head easier. However the main runs of better quality slaughter lambs averaged close to last week on a cents per kilogram cost basis.
Some agents are now leading their runs with shorn lambs. The heaviest shorn lambs, 26-30kg cwt, sold from $240 to a top of $275/head at an estimated cost of 865c/kg cwt. Unshorn young lambs topped at $259, with the main run of better quality heavy trades, 24-26kg cwt, from $213 to $259/head at an estimated average of 850c/kg cwt. The general run of young lambs in the light to medium trade weight categories from $175 to $212/head, and depending on weight and quality showed a broader carcass price spread of 760c to 840c/kg cwt. There was some very well-bred big lines of store lambs available, including one pen of more than 800 head. Best quality store lambs with breeding and frame from $155 to $174/head to be similar to a week ago. Plainer and mixed store lambs varied from $90 to $145/head.
Sheep supply increased to 11,000 head, made up of all weights and grades. Demand was subdued, particularly for the latter sheep sales as not all buyers remained in the market. Prices were mostly $8 to $15/head cheaper in a sale that kept loosing momentum as it progressed. Only a few lines of extra heavy sheep made over $200, with the bulk of sales from $130 to $180/head for better trade to heavy mutton. Secondary light sheep $90 to $125/head. Mutton was estimated as costing from 550c to 620c/kg cwt.