Lamb supply eased to 13,500 head, back by 8,000 head, and demand from both processors and store buyers stepped-up to create a much dearer market than a week ago. The yarding comprised a mix of old season and young unshorn lambs, and like last Monday included several big drafts of crossbred store lambs from NSW. Prices for heavy young lambs lifted by $5 to $12, while some of the old season pens gained $20/head. Store demand intensified and a large crowd of farmers and agents watched as the market for small lambs back to the paddock averaged $20/head dearer. The sale posted a new Bendigo record, and possible Victorian title, of $298/head for a pen of 30 extra heavy second-cross Dorset lambs estimated to weigh over 40kg cwt.
There was some outstanding new season lambs which sold to a top of $255 for around 28kg cwt, with the lead runs weighing above 23kg cwt all making above $200, to average $235/head. The best quality old season lambs with weight made from $214 to $263/head. Supplies of well presented domestic lambs around 21-22kg cwt were very limited and they attracted strong demand, to make from $183 to $207/head. In carcase terms it pushed average prices back up to between 850c to 900c/kg cwt, with select pens higher during the sale. Trade weight supplementary fed Merino lambs reached $196, however demand for any secondary light weight Merinos lacking fat cover remained subdued. Bidding for young store lambs was at much keener levels than a week ago and was dominated by southern buyers from Tasmania, Colac, Finley and the local area. The bigger-framed lambs sold from $110 to $129, while the large drafts of smaller first-cross lambs from NSW made from $44 to $90, to average $70/head.
Mutton was dear, although results were erratic at times over some of the crossbred ewes and smaller lines of full wool Merinos. Some heavy sheep categories lifted by up to $20/head, while others gained a few dollars on a week ago. Heavy crossbred ewes made from $114 to $160/head. Merino ewes sold to $142, most sales of the heavier types sold from $90 to $132/head. Good lines of mutton were estimated as costing from 380c to 430c/kg cwt.
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