Yarded - 65,760
Lambs - 48,885
Sheep - 16,880
The first market at Ballarat for 2018 saw a very large yarding of 48,885 lambs and 16,880 sheep. Quality was mostly from average to good with all weights and grades offered in agents run to the regular buying group, however one export buyer not operating during the sale. There also was a significant increase in the number of shorn lambs, while the unshorn lambs showed more dryness in skins. The sale overall showed a firm to dearer trend for light lambs, good quality medium and heavy shorn lambs were unchanged to slightly easier and the medium to heavy unshorn lambs sold from $4 to $8/head cheaper compared to the last sale 3 weeks ago.
Restockers were busy throughout the lamb market buying store lambs between $100 and $146/head. They also purchased Merino lambs from $85 to $106, crossbred ewes from $98 and a pen of young Merino ewes for $126/head. Light weight 2 score young lambs made $93 to $123 to average 720c and light trade weights sold from $118 to $140/head to average 705c/kg cwt. Medium trade weight 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $136 to $152 and heavier drafts of 3 scores sold from $142 to $162/head as they averaged an estimated 680c/kg cwt.
Heavy trade weight 3 and 4 score young lambs sold between $153 and $176 and heavy lambs sold from $167 to $200/head averaging between 660c and 670c/kg cwt. Shorn of medium weight 3 score lambs sold from $137 to $158 and heavy trade weights made from $158 to $176/head. The extra heavy export lambs sold from $212 to the market top of $242/head as the average costs between 660c and 700c/kg cwt. Some good quality heavy hoggets were offered as they made from $128 to $158/head.
The sheep penning contained some good quality with all the weights and grades on display. The crossbred ewes showed very good condition and sold to keen bidding, although one heavy sheep buyer did not operate. The mix of the Merino and crossbred sheep generally sold a few dollars either side of firm. Very light 1 score sheep sold from $58 to $68 and the light weight 1 and 2 scores made $59 to $94/head. Medium trade weight 2 and 3 scores sold from $90 to $148 with the Merino mutton averaging 490c and crossbred mutton averaging close to 460c/kg cwt. Heavy crossbred ewes 3,4 and 5 scores sold from $112 to $160 as
they averaged 430c/kg cwt and heavy Merino ewes near full wool sold to $157/head. Medium Merino wethers sold from $105 to $138 and heavy wethers made between $130 and $158/head as they averaged close to 500c/kg cwt. Heavy rams of all breeds were sold from $65 to $108/head.