Wagga aims high, but no new lamb records

EXPORT lambs sold to a high of $350 at Wagga, which was shy of the new Australian record set in Ballarat this week.

After the Victorian market hit $380 for lambs, estimated to weigh 43 kilograms dressed, eyes quickly moved to the Wagga Livestock Marketing Centre to see if the record could be broken in NSW.

A total of 34,000 sheep and lambs went under the hammer at Wagga and results were good but there wasn't enough weight to smash new records.

Yet vendors were happy. Glenn Reichstein of Temora was pleased to see his second-cross White Suffolk lambs go under the hammer for $340.

There were 46 in the pen. When asked about the feeding regime to get the lambs ready for sale Mr Reichstein laughed that they "had been on feed since conception."

Eastern Riverina vendors Knobel Farming of Henty received a high of $350 for their lambs at Wagga.

Meanwhile, the lighter weights certainly weren't outdone by extra-heavy categories. Well known sheep and wool identity Paul Cocking, "Kaloona," Mangoplah offered September/October drop Merino lambs, by White Suffolk rams and they made an impressive $159 a head.

Mr Cocking said it was certainly worth selling in the current market conditions. He was pleased with the returns for his light lambs.

Meanwhile, Meat and Livestock Australia's National Livestock Reporting Service indicated that despite numbers declining, quality improved, with the majority of the yarding grain assisted and weighing above 25kg carcase weight.

Prices for trade types strengthened on the back of the limited supplies. Lighter weight young lambs were supported by steady restocker demand, and processor competition with orders mostly from the local area.

Mutton numbers climbed and continued its stellar run with price for quality. Price results for trade lambs lifted $12 to $13/head.

The best of the heavy trade lambs, 22-24kg, sold to strong supermarket competition to average 975c/kg cwt.

Light weight lambs to processor prices were distorted, with processors opting to take a back seat over strong restocker demand and the limited supply.

Light weight lambs back to the paddock or to feed-on sold to fluctuating trends, making from $150 to $202/head. Heavy lambs were in greater numbers and all lambs sold to stronger price trends. Heavy lambs sold from $235 to $259/head.

Extra heavy lambs over 26kg made from $250 to $350/head, averaging 945c/kg cwt.

It was a very mixed quality yarding of mutton, with good numbers of trade sheep offered.

Mutton prices strengthened due to a shortage of numbers. Prices improved $10 to $40/head. Heavy crossbred ewes sold up to $298/head to average 741c/kg cwt. Heavy Merino ewes made from $175 to $284/head. Trade and light sheep sold over 800c at times throughout the sale, with trade mutton averaging 771c/kg cwt.