Bendigo Sheep & Lamb Report

Numbers continue to slowly build as more new season lambs come forward. Quality was excellent across the lead runs of young lambs, although there was some plainer types in the medium and lighter weight domestic runs. All the regular buyers attended and price outcomes did vary based around lamb condition and weight. The best of the heavy young lambs gained $3 to $10/head, while pens under 22kg cwt were a few dollars easier. The same trend was evident in the old lambs, with the best quality heavy types in neat skins dearer, while secondary drafts were cheaper. An order from Ballarat joined the local restocking ranks, although there wasn’t a lot of well-bred lightweight young lambs available to suit the paddock.

Heavy young lambs weighing above 26kg to nearly 30kg cwt sold from $220 to $240/head. The main run of heavy trade weights sold from $211 to $236 to average $221/head. The good 22kg to 24kg cwt crossbred young lambs sold from $186 to $215/head. Carcass estimates for these quality lambs improved to between 800c to 850c/kg cwt, noting that buyers have reduced estimated skin values and were working on returns of just $3 to $4 per pelt. Once off the lead drafts the market was more selective, and plainer domestic young lambs showing less breed quality and weight varied from $140 to $180/head at an estimated 750c to 780c/kg cwt for most. Restockers paid from $125 to $152/head for better grown store lambs.

The supply of old lambs is declining, and quality is also fading as tail-end drafts are cleared. The best presented pens in neat skins above 24kg cwt were dearer, while secondary types of all weights and grades showed a cheaper trend.

Another impressive yarding of sheep showing plenty of weight and condition. The highlight was a line of 500 shorn Merino wethers that were exceptional for size, estimated at 40kg cwt and which sold for $200/head. Price results for mutton were firm to slightly easier. Most heavy Merinos sold from $145 to $190, and good trade weights sold from $120 to $160/head, depending on skin length and value. On a carcass basis most sheep were estimated between 500c and 570c/kg cwt.
Click here to view the full report.