SHEEP & LAMBS
February 14. Yarding: 5110. Change: down 7996. Lambs: 3532. Change: down 7190. Sheep: 1578. Change: down 806.
Lamb supply eased to 3532 head this week at Horsham, including about 400 Merino lambs. Quality was average to good with most of the usual buying group in attendance. The better quality lambs sold from around firm to $5/head up on last week. Heavy lambs sold to $180 with the heavier trade weights selling from $145 to $158.50/head to average 640c/kg cwt. Unshorn lambs sold from $129 to $158/head. The heavier Merino lambs sold to $145 with lighter weights selling to $115/head. Restockers paid from $106 to $130 for lambs, with the light weights selling from $41 to $85/head. They paid $192/head for a pen of 211 4 year old first cross ewes scanned in lamb. There were 1,578 sheep yarded covering all weights and grades. Heavier Merino sheep sold a few dollars dearer, with Merino wethers making to $135/head. Light weight 2 score lambs sold from $92 to $107/head. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $109 to $130/head and averaged 640c/kg cwt. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $137 to $145 with the heavier weights selling from $145 to $158.50/head, they ranged from 625c to 660c to average 640c/kg cwt. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $156 to $180/head and averaged around 630c/kg cwt. Heavy hoggets sold from $127 to $128/head. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold to $73/head. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep sold from $84 to $106/head and ranged from 380c to 410c, with a run of Merino mutton averaging 395c/kg cwt. Heavy Merino ewes sold from $110 to $134, the heavy wethers made from $118 to $135, and the medium weights sold to $106/head. The heavy Merino sheep ranged from 410c to 420c/kg cwt. Heavy 3 to 5 score crossbred sheep sold from $87 to $110 and heavy rams made to $66/head.
February 13. Yarding: 27,380. Change: down 12,803. Lambs: 18,492. Change: down 10,238. Sheep: 8888. Change: down 2565.
Lamb numbers were back by about 10,000 head with 18,492 yarded at Ballarat this week. The quality was average to good, with the usual buying group in attendance and operating in a cheaper market on last week’s levels. Not all the usual buyers operated fully and were more selective with their purchases. Heavy lambs were fewer in number, with a reasonable selection of trade weight lambs penned. Trade weight and heavy lambs mostly eased from $5 to $10 with the lighter lambs easing $4 to $5/head. The best heavy lambs sold to $190, with heavier trade weights selling from $140 to $166/head and averaged 630c/kg cwt. Heavy unshorn lambs, off Lucerne, made to $194, with the trade weight unshorn lambs selling from $130 to $140/head. Restockers and feeders were active and paid from $83 to $135 for lambs, with unshorn lambs selling from $88 to $126/head. Restockers paid $148 and $192 for first cross ewe lambs and paid from $65 to $100/head for spring shorn Merino wethers. They also paid $100/head for a large run of Merino ewes. Light weight 1 and 2 score lambs sold from $79 to $106/head. Light trade 2 and 3 score lambs sold from $108 to $135/head and averaged 650c/kg cwt. Trade weight 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $132 to $148, with the heavier weights selling from $140 to $166/head and made from 585c to 665c to average 630c/kg cwt. Heavy 3 and 4 score lambs sold from $154 to $190/head at 610c/kg cwt. Heavy hoggets reached $146/head. The sheep offering of 8,888 head covered all weights and grades, but with more lighter, plainer sheep yarded. Not all the usual buying group attended or operated fully. Sheep sold from close to firm for the better presented Merino ewes and wethers, and eased from $4 to $8/head for most other classes. Light weight 1 and 2 score sheep sold from $36 to $93, with very light 1 scores selling from $19 to $56/head. Medium weight 2 and 3 score sheep sold from $52 to $111/head and made from 275c to 420c with a run of Merino mutton averaging 380c/kg cwt. Heavy Merino ewes sold from $88 to $107, heavy wethers sold from $108 to $134 and the medium weights from $80 to $114/head. The heavy Merino sheep averaged 390c/kg cwt.
February 12. Yarding: 16,444. Change: down 544. Lambs: 12,444. Change: down 544. Sheep: 4000. Change: 0.
Lamb numbers eased, and it was also a plainer yarding that lacked the weight and carcase quality of recent weeks. The usual buying group attended, however bidding was at lower levels and prices eased by $5 to $20/head. The heavier lambs were the most affected by the cheaper trend, with light weight types holding their value the best. Prices reached a top of $193 for export lambs estimated at 32kg cwt, and it was the only sale over $190/head. The main runs of heavy crossbred lambs in the 26-30kg range sold from $163 to $184, while the best of the trade weight lambs 22-24kg cwt ranged from $140 to $155/head. These lambs recorded carcase price averages of 570c to 600c/kg cwt, although there was some pens of good weight domestic lambs which saw prices higher than this at times. However, buyer interest in secondary lambs and odd pens was subdued and there were plainer lambs to processors which sold for less than 560c/kg cwt. Prices for Merino lambs also declined. Light weight lambs held their value the best at $90 to $130 to processors, while some of the bigger lines of well-bred shorn store lambs still made up to $120/head to the paddock. The sheep sale was erratic. Some solid demand from export processors for heavy mutton helped support prices for the heaviest sheep, with a stand-out line of Merino ewes estimated at 35kg cwt in a $20 skin topping the market at $169/head.
February 13. Yarding: 979. Change: down 151.
Numbers eased as agents yarded 979 head of live weight and open auction cattle. These sold to the usual field of trade and processor buyers with feeder and restocker orders also present and active across the market. Pricing was firm to slightly dearer in places with quality improving greatly on the offerings of previous weeks. Vealer numbers lifted with the trade active on steers from 258c to 300c, restockers active to 297c and feeders to 285c/kg. Vealer heifers to the trade sold from 244c to 292c, feeders active to 265c and restockers turning these back out to 272c/kg. Yearling steers to the trade sold from 256c to 285c, restockers purchased a significant number from 230c to 290c and feeders were active from 256c to 286c/kg. Yearling heifers to the trade sold from 232c to 270c and restockers turned these back to the paddock from 220c to 260c/kg. Grown steers and bullocks lifted in number with much better quality coming forward as they sold from 223c to 270c, grown heifers from 192c to 257c and manufacturing steers sold from 195c to 222c/kg. Cow numbers reduced with less than half of the previous week.
February 14. Yarding: 1028. Change: 67.
It was a mixed quality, slightly larger sized yarding of cattle that sold to a mainly usual following of buyers. Most young cattle, the well covered beef cows and C muscled grown steers were unchanged in pricing. The manufacturing steers sold 2c to 5c dearer and dairy bulls were 15c higher while most 1 and 2 score dairy cows made 2c to 8c/kg less. Processors and restockers paid 245c to 295c/kg for C2 and C3 vealers which made up the bulk of the young cattle penning. The small number of yearling steers sold from 232c to 275c to processors while restockers paid 250c to 259c/kg for heifers to feed-on. The C3 and C4 grown steers made from 240c to 264c with the D2 grade of dairy bred manufacturing steers from 196c to 210c and D2 beef breeds sold between 210c and 219c/kg.