Dry conditions prompt a big sell off at Wagga

TAKING THE BIDS: Action from Wagga's sheep and lamb market.
TAKING THE BIDS: Action from Wagga's sheep and lamb market.

VENDORS sold 52,000 sheep and lambs at the Wagga market on Thursday.

According to Meat and Livestock Australia's National Livestock Reporting Service dry conditions pushed more old lambs onto the market, while new season lambs numbers remained steady at 20,100.

Agents offered an outstanding run of new season lambs across trade and heavy export classes, with even the lighter weights in very good condition.

Old trade lambs were of mixed quality and there was a significant price variance between shorter skinned and longer wool lambs.

The heavy old lambs were well supplied and quality was exceptional, with plenty of lambs weighing over 30kg cwt. There were good supplies of well-bred lighter weight new season lambs which sold to strong competition.

Buyers travelled from Jugiong, Forbes, Ballarat and Echuca along with some local inquiry. The new season trade lambs sold to stronger competition due to a shortage in the north of the state and in Victoria.

The best of the heavy trade lambs 22-24kg gained $14/head to average 842c/kg cwt. Heavy new season lambs attracted a large field of export and domestic processors.

Heavy young lambs ignited the bidding, selling $13 dearer while the extra heavy lambs gained $20, selling from $245 to $279/head to average 911c/kg cwt.

New season lambs back to the paddock sold to solid demand. The bulk of the lambs selling to restockers and lot feeders made from $117 to $182/head.

Old trade lambs varied in quality and prices fluctuated depending on fat cover and wool length to average 842c/kg cwt. Merino trade lambs 20-24kg sold from $144 to $198/head.

There was significantly stronger export competition from a northern buyer for extra heavy export lambs which pushed prices $40\head higher.

Extra heavy lambs sold from $235 to $325 with numerous sales over $300/head. It was another remarkable yarding of mutton, with only limited supplies of plainer sheep offered.

Most of the usual buying group were in attendance however most processors would only compete at a significantly lower price level. Heavy mutton sold to extremely weak competition which resulted in a cheaper trend of up to $41/head.

Heavy crossbred ewes sold up to $166/head, averaging 441c/kg cwt. Heavy Merino ewes made from $130 to $166/head, averaging 480c/kg cwt. Heavy wethers sold from $141 to $180/head, averaging 507 to 537c/kg cwt. Trade and light sheep ranged from $27 to $138/head.