Increase in supply, prices mixed at sheep and lamb sale

There was a significant increase in the yarding at last week’s sheep and lamb sale, from 12,000 on January 3 to 40,000 on January 10. Lambs increased by 12,000 to 28,000 and sheep increased by 4000 to 8000.

Supply increased and price results were somewhat mixed, based on breed quality weight and carcase finish.

There was an increase in the yarding but prices were mixed at last week's sheep and lamb sale. Picture: Les Smith

There was an increase in the yarding but prices were mixed at last week's sheep and lamb sale. Picture: Les Smith

The pick of the lambs across trade and heavy lamb categories were either off lucerne stands or grain assisted.

Once again, the greater percentage of finished lambs weighed above 25kg cwt.

Light lambs were well supplied and quality was quite mixed, a reflection of the seasonally dry conditions.

All of the usual buying contingent attended, however not all major domestic or export processors operated.

Trade lambs were in reasonable supply and quality was very good to fair, with full fleeced lambs lacking finish.

There was an excellent selection of grain assisted shorn lambs that benefited from strong supermarket competition.

The bulk of the shorn trade lambs were unchanged to $4 dearer, making from $124 to $169/head to average 658c/kg cwt.

Competition for heavy lambs fluctuated, with some major buyers very selective when bidding.

Generally, heavy lambs sold from $161 to $176/head. Extra heavy lambs were unchanged to $4 cheaper, selling from $173 to $223/head to average 644c/kg cwt.

Store lambs were well supplied and restocking competition increased.

Lambs returning to the paddock sold from $61 to $128/head.

Lambs to feed on varied in price from $114 to $148/head.

It was a mixed quality offering of mutton, with all weights and grades represented.

The market fluctuated, with buying competition erratic for the heavier sheep throughout the sale.

Heavy crossbred ewes sold from $120 to $159/head to average 433c/kg cwt.

Heavy Merino ewes were keenly sought by a northern processor, making from $110 to $154/head. Trade sheep were well supplied and sold to solid demand, averaging from 392c to 425c/kg cwt.

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