LUSTRE has left the lamb industry with prices struggling to find ground across Australia's major selling centres including Wagga.
Activity from restockers has been subdued and livestock agents say many processors are running at 70 per cent of capacity or less.
Fortunately for vendors at Wagga Livestock Marketing Centre the story hasn't been quite so dire and there hasn't been a pass-in rate seen at other saleyards such as Forbes.
James Tierney of Riverina Livestock Agents (RLA) said despite decent rain the quality of lambs hadn't been ideal.
He said there was a worm burden and livestock were not doing as well as expected.
"There's plenty of supply of lambs in NSW in particular, but the abattoirs are killing at about 70 per cent," he said.
This was attributed to staff shortages and possibly COVID-19 implications.
"There has been minimal activity from restockers," he said.
Meanwhile, the lighter lambs and MK (or bag lambs) destined for the Middle Eastern market had also felt the brunt of lack lustre demand.
Traditionally these lighter lambs have performed well at this time of the year and offered producers an option to turn stock off earlier than may have been anticipated.
Mr Tierney said the quality of lambs going under the hammer wasn't as good as it had been in previous years,
"To be honest I can't remember seeing so many plain lambs in Wagga," he said.
"The quality is not as good as (we have seen) in other years," he said.
Meanwhile, the risk of a Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) incursion continues to make media headlines and contributes to a level of concern in the livestock industry.
According to Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) processors have been more cautious.
MLA indicates that many processors use saleyards to fill gaps in forward contracts.
Many of contracts were made back in 2021. Some processors were also going through routine yearly winter maintenance shutdowns.
The light lamb indicator eased 130c/kg after the Forbes sale and most traded 73.7c/kg carcase weight less than the national average.
At Forbes on Tuesday numbers dropped by a whopping 20,500 with 12,700 offered.
MLA market reporter Krystelle Ridley said prices were better than the previous week and 700 new-season lambs were offered.
At Griffith on Friday numbers fell by 7500 compared to the previous week with 3600 offered.
MLA market reporter Caroline Ronald attributed the drop in yarding size to price drop of $10 to $30 the week before.
Extra heavy lambs eased $5 to $10 with export types selling from $179 to $242.
The small offering of mutton dropped in price by $30 with little competition from processors.
Wagga also experienced a drop in numbers last Thursday with 36,500 selling. This was a decrease of 12,000 head compared to the previous week.
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