Farm Tender

Up and down Lamb prices at Bendigo

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Yarding - 31,000 (+5000)
Lambs - 21,000 (+1000)
Sheep - 10,000 (+4500)

Just a slight lift in numbers to 21,000 lambs, 1000 more. Less weight was available this week, with pens of heavy young lambs over 27kg cwt limited in a yarding that did show more signs of dryness and lambs having gone to wool. All the usual buyers attended, but purchasing activity from some processors was minimal. Lamb weight, condition and breed quality were factors in price outcomes, with the major domestic buyers favouring fresher stock and store buyers wanting better-bred lines to shear. Price outcomes were similar to a few dollars dearer for the best heavy young lambs, while the general run of light and medium trades were $3 to $8/head easier. Very small lambs were dearer, aided by a couple of restocking orders.

A lone pen of export weight young lambs topped the sale at $299, with most sales of unshorn lambs above 27kg cwt from $260 to $280/head at an estimated 930c/kg cwt. The best presented heavy trade lambs, 24kg to 26kg, from $225 to $253 to still hold an average close to 900c/kg cwt. There was more price variance evident on the plainer trade lambs at 830c to 890c/kg cwt. Specialist restockers competed against meat buyers on the 22kg to 24kg cwt lambs, those to the paddock averaging $216 and pens to slaughter mostly $205 to $228/head. Lighter domestic lambs mostly $160 to $190, with store buyers claiming a reasonable percentage of the 18kg to 20kg cwt young lambs at an
average of $174/head to the paddock. The smallest store lambs were dearer at $130 to $174/head.

Sheep prices improved despite some regular buyers only watching the market. An extra heavy pen of Dorper ewes reached $257, with most of the heavy crossbred ewes from $190 to $215/head. Heavy Merino ewes $183 to a top of $243/head for pens in longer-wool. Heavy mutton was estimated at 570c to 630c/kg cwt. Trade weight sheep were well supported at $130 to $170/head, tracking over 600c with the main run of Merino ewes in the 18kg to 24kg cwt bracket averaging close to 650c/kg cwt.