Wagga sheep and lamb market, August 13 2020

REGULAR FACE: Kevin Hopkins is at Wagga sheep and lamb market. Picture: Emma Hillier
REGULAR FACE: Kevin Hopkins is at Wagga sheep and lamb market. Picture: Emma Hillier

A TOTAL of 37,800 sheep and lambs were sold at the Wagga Livestock Marketing Centre on Thursday.

Meat and Livestock Australia's National Livestock Reporting Service stated that lamb numbers increased with the exception of new season lambs which lifted to just over 12,000.

Quality was outstanding over trade and heavy lamb categories, with old lambs grain assisted or finished on crop.

Heavy and extra heavy lambs were in good numbers. Not all the usual winter buying group made purchases or operated to their usual buying levels.

The trade lamb market sold with cheaper trends over all categories, due to forced slow down with Covid-19 restrictions at abattoirs. Buyers report a back log of lambs at several plants.

All domestic buyers were cautious when buying new season lambs. This contributed to a easing trend of $11 to $12/head. New season lambs, 21 to 24kg, sold from $134 to $162/head with the bulk averaging 600c/kg cwt.

Old trade lambs sold with erratic bidding throughout the sale causing another big price spread this week. The bulk of the old trade lambs averaged 600c/kg cwt. Merino trade lambs sold to the usual group of buyers and lambs, 21 to 24kg, sold from $122 to $146/head to average 562c/kg cwt.

Not all the usual export buyers were in attendance and demand was strongest for lambs weighing above 30kg cwt. Lambs, 26 to 30kg, sold $6 easier making from $150 to $167/head to average 544c/kg cwt. Lambs weighing 30kg cwt and over gained $8, selling at $155 to $205/head to average 494c/kg cwt. It was a good quality yarding of mutton with heavy sheep well supplied.

Heavy ewes sold to a reduced field of buyers to average from 425c to 442c/kg cwt. Trade sheep were limited making from $106 to $128/head to average 490c to 525c/kg cwt