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Ag News

Trade weight Lambs and Mutton up to $10/head dearer on low numbers at Bendigo

  • By: "Prime" Ag News
  • Apr 07, 2020

Yarding - 11,640 (-9860).
Lambs - 7240 (-6260).
Sheep - 4400 (-3600).

Widespread rain and the softer prices of the previous week combined to drastically reduce lamb numbers, with just 7,240 head yarded. It is the smallest sale held at the centre so far this year. Quality remained good, boosted by some very good lines of heavy lambs off grain. Agents said the reduction in supply was mostly over lighter weight types as plainer stock were held back for further finishing. All the regular buyers attended, although some only purchased limited numbers. But the significant drop in supply was enough to put more momentum into the market, with the main run of well finished trade weight lambs quoted as $10/head dearer. Export lambs were also dearer, with the balance of the yarding quoted as firm.

Extra heavy export lambs sold to $334/head to be significantly dearer on paper than recent weeks. However the pen of 95 lambs were estimated to have a carcase weight of more than 40kg, making them some of the biggest lambs sold this autumn. There was just one other sale at $300/head for a pen of charity lambs sold for the Royal Children's Hospital Appeal. Saleyard data shows the price spread for most lambs to export processors made from $230 to $260/head, with just a few pen pens higher. Competition was strongest across the tradeweight lambs sized from 22-27kg cwt. The lead pens sold from $190 to $240, for averages of $210 to $220/head to the major domestic buyers. Buyers were costing these lambs at an estimated 840c to 850c/kg cwt. Better bred small lambs continued to sell from $100 to$160/head depending on size. Heavy trade Merino lambs off grain sold to $220, with the general run from $150 to $190/head. The average estimate for a run of Merino lambs was 760c/kg after buyers allowed returns of up to $20/head for skin returns off the best pens.

Sheep numbers halved to 4,400 head, but the sale still included some very good lines of Merino wethers. Mutton prices were quoted as firm to $5 to $10/head dearer over the best pens of heavier sheep. Merino wethers with frame and weight, made from $172 to $215; big crossbred ewes sold from $191 to $248; most trade weight sheep made from $160 to $190 and light weight pens sold from $86 to $136/head. Buyers were working on costings starting at 680c for heavy mutton, rising to over 700c/kg cwt on the feature lines of trade sheep.