BUY UP: Elders Bendigo's Graeme Miller, with client Charlie Hocking from Tandara, Bendigo, at the Deniliquin sheep sale where they paid $278 for 276 Emu Park Merino ewes 2015 drop scanned in lamb to White Suffolks.

Numbers down as heat rises

Producers are holding lambs back in wake of dip in prices.

Wagga last Thursday was back 8523 lambs on the previous sale as lower rates discouraged vendors. Lamb prices shed about 20 to 50c/kg two weeks ago, with rates recovering some ground at Thursday’s market.

The extreme heat has started to take its toll on full wool lambs at Wagga, with less buying competition on any drafts which presented dry. The main drafts of shorn lamb suiting domestic processors averaged 5c dearer, making from $128-$173. Trade lambs in full wool sold from $129-$159.20.

The best demand in the export market was for heavy lambs weighing above 30kg cwt. There were plenty of sales above $200 which lifted prices $4. The market topped at $225 with the bulk of the heavy lambs averaging 630c/kg cwt. Both trade and heavy lamb indicators were hanging in above 630c, closing at 634- 632c/kg respectively. Light lambs closed at 670c/kg carcass weight and Merino lambs were sitting at 593c/kg.

On the back of last week’s price correction, Corowa’s market almost halved with only 5721 lambs and 2228 sheep. High summer temperatures reportedly effected quality over most categories. Despite the plainer offering trade lambs gained $12-$14 to average 680c/kg cwt. Extra heavy lambs sold to dearer trends with some lines up to $11 dearer making from $162-$226 to average 630c/kg cwt.

It was the same story in the mutton run with rates $15-$22 higher for heavy sheep while trade sheep averaged 407c/kg cwt.

At Bendigo, the lamb market strengthened with domestic processors competing for limited supplies of well-finished trade weight types. National Livestock Reporting Service quoted dearer prices for main runs of trade lambs with sales a few dollars better than a week ago. Shorn trade lambs 22-26kg sold from $135-$174 to average 648c/kg cwt. Supplementary-fed, extra-heavy lambs were well-supplied and prices were up to $4 dearer following a consistently dearer trend.  Bidding for secondary lambs back to the paddock was erratic with some sales dearer and others up to $4 cheaper. Store lambs with weight and frame sold at $94-$136.

Heavy mutton fell $12-$32 while trade sheep were up to $16 cheaper, averaging 375-405ckg cwt.

Ballarat’s lamb offering was 24,798 down 9054 on the week before. The sale was a typical summer yarding with quality average to good. Buyers operated with more urgency this week resulting in a dearer trend of $4- $8 for shorn trade lambs to average 650-676c/kg cwt. The best quality heavy lambs sold from $180-$230 to average 634c/kg cwt. Mutton values have not held, with ewe rates dipping $7-$12 to average 337-421c/kg cwt.

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