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Mutton surges at Bendigo

  • By: "Prime" Ag News
  • Feb 11, 2020

This article is bought to you by Pepperton.

Yarding - 27,000 (0).
Lambs - 19,000 (+1000).
Sheep - 8000 (-1000).

There was a slight increase to 19,000 lambs, but less sheep at 8,000 head. The lamb yarding was dominated by stock off grain feeders and pellets, creating more numbers in the heavier weight categories over 26kg cwt. The supply of good quality trade weight lambs, around 21 to 24kg cwt, was very limited. Quality then quickly faded away into mixed pens of light weight lambs. Overall price results for crossbred lambs were similar to a week ago. Merino lambs were dearer, as buyers shifted to this breed to fill lighter weight orders. There was a shuffle in export buying demand, with a northern order which had been setting the pace on heavy lambs not operating. But another export professor stepped up and purchased extra lambs and filled the gap. The strength of the sale was over the light weight lambs which benefited from both MK processing and restocking orders, including new buying activity from a Swan Hill feeder.

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The heaviest lambs sold to $290, with most of the extra heavy exports over 30kg cwt making from $235 to $280, to average $267/head. The26 to 30kg cwt lambs received both export and domestic competition from $213 to $260/head. The best medium and heavy trade weight lambs made from $185 to $215/head. On a carcase basis, most of the better processor lambs trended above 800c/kg, with the pick of the domestic pens up around 850c/kg cwt. There was a reasonable percentage of Merino lambs in the yarding with the freshest trade weights in reasonable skins selling to $231/head. A lot of the lighter weight Merino lambs sold to MK processing orders at $130 to $170/head at dearer carcase price levels. Lambs to the paddock were considerably dearer in places and on plain quality at times.

Sheep prices surged to another level, led by strong buying from a NSW based processor on heavy mutton, following rain further north. Price gains of $10 to $40/head were evident across the offering, with big crossbred ewes selling to $280 and averaging close to $250/head. Heavy Merino ewes sold to $240 and wethers to $230/head. Most sheep with reasonable frame and fat cover commanded over $150/head. Good runs of mutton were estimated as costing processors from 650c to 720c/kg cwt. The higher prices meant not all buyers fully engaged with the market.

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