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Very dear Mutton market at Bendigo

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Yarding - 19,500 (+500)
Lambs - 11,500 (-1500)
Sheep - 8000 (+2000)

Few more numbers were penned in a plainer yarding of lambs, with less heavy grain assisted types available. All the regular buyers attended, although not all operated fully in another dearer market. The strongest bidding came from domestic processors who sometimes pushed up into heavier weights of 28kg cwt. It was heavier lambs that recorded the best price gains of the sale, with the hot spots of the auction being the 24 to 26kg and 26 to 30kg cwt crossbred categories which showed rises of more than $30/head on a week ago.

The supply of export lambs over 30kg cwt dropped away to a few pens which made from $290 to a top of $325/head. Heavy lambs consistently made from $240 to $285/head, for estimated carcase averages of 940c to 980c/kg cwt. Select pens did make over 1,000c/kg cwt at times. The availability of neat domestic lambs was again tight, with the best pens in the 22 to 24kg category selling from $228 to $258/head. Plainer and lighter lambs ranged mostly from $140 to $175/head to processors, with only limited sales to restockers and feedlots. Grain assisted Merino lambs sold from $225 to a top of $258/head and were trending above 900c/kg cwt. However, the majority of Merinos in the yarding were light types lacking fat cover which mostly ranged from $126 to $158/head. Only a few pens of new season young lambs were yarded and sold to a top of $225/head.

It was a very dear mutton sale with estimated carcase prices among the highest Bendigo has recorded. There was 8,000 sheep yarded, with more lines of Merino wethers coming out this week alongside a good run of heavy crossbred and Merino ewes. Prices lifted by $10 to $20/head, with quality lines of Merino wethers and some ewes selling above 800c/kg cwt at times. Light sheep also sold exceptionally well.

When prices for the various quality sheep were blended together an average run of mutton was costing buyers from 700c to 780c/kg cwt. A lot of heavy sheep made from $220 to $270, while at the other end of the scale very few very plain and light ewes sold for less than $140/head.

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