Numbers decreased for the first sheep and lamb sale of 2019 after the last sale on December 27 rounded out a successful 2018.
The January 3 yarding, the first of the year, was of 28,000 sheep and lambs.
There were 8000 sheep and 20,000 lambs on offer in the first week of January.
The quality of the offering was very good, with most lambs finished on supplementary feed.
Heavy lambs made up a large percentage of the yarding, with the bulk weighing above 26kg cwt.
Trade lambs were in reasonable supply, while full fleeced lambs were predominantly dry in the skin and lacked finish.
Shorn lambs attracted a premium, while the new season young lambs sold to fluctuating competition.
Most of the usual buying contingent attended, however not all major domestic processors operated.
Trade lambs were in reasonable supply and quality improved to the previous sale.
There was an excellent selection of supplementary finished shorn lambs that sold to steady demand.
The bulk of the shorn trade lambs were unchanged to a few dollars cheaper, making from $122 to $165/head to average 640c/kg cwt.
Competition for heavy lambs was solid, with most buyers keen to secure a market share.
Generally, heavy lambs sold from $158 to $183/head.
Extra heavy lambs made from $169 to $235/head to average 630c/kg cwt.
Store lambs were few and restocking competition was limited.
Lambs returning to the paddock sold from $29 to $136/head.
Lambs to feed on varied in price from $132 to $145/head.
It was a mixed quality offering of mutton, with all weights and grades represented.
The market fluctuated, with buying competition irregular for the heavier sheep.
Heavy crossbred ewes sold from $112 to $152/head to average 455c/kg cwt.
Heavy Merino ewes were keenly sought at times to average 447c/kg cwt.
Trade sheep were well supplied and sold to stronger price trends averaging from 400c to 424c/kg cwt.