Wagga sheep and lamb market, February 13 2020

TAKING THE BIDS: The team from WRL pictured at Wagga sheep and lamb sale.
TAKING THE BIDS: The team from WRL pictured at Wagga sheep and lamb sale.

LAMB prices have rocketed ahead with Meat and Livestock Australia's National Livestock Reporting Service quoting highs of $340 a head at Wagga on Thursday.

A total of 38,300 went under the hammer and numbers increased moderately.

Quality was excellent with most trade and heavy lambs grain finished. There was a smaller offering of store lambs under 18kg cwt.

Prices rallied for trade lambs over all weight categories pushing prices significantly higher.

Heavy young lambs over 30kg cwt were in greater supply and demand strengthened, with a northern processor dominating this weight category.

Lighter weight young lambs were well supported by restockers, lot feeders and processors. Trade lambs were dearer throughout due to stronger competition from major domestic processors.

The best of the heavy trade lambs 22kg to 24kg were $23/head dearer to average 923c/kg cwt. Light weight lambs to the processors made from $134 to $177/head, with buyers struggling to operate against feedlots and restockers.

Light weight lambs back to the paddock sold to $177 while lambs with weight to feed on made from $180 to $191/head.

Despite not all processors operating in the heavy export run, prices surged ahead $19 to $23/head.

The bulk of the heavy and extra heavy lambs sold to intense competition, with plenty of bidding duels along the way.

Extra heavy lambs made from $240 to $340/head, to average 888c/kg cwt.

Rain over the weekend resulted in numbers plunging to the lowest offering in two years. Quality was very mixed and all buyers were keen to acquire a market share.

Buyers struggled to find a price level resulting in an erratic market. Heavy sheep made from $160 to $280/head. Trade sheep averaged 543c to 643c/kg cwt.