Bendigo Sheep & Lamb Report

There was a modest lift in lamb numbers following last week’s rain disrupted sale. Quality remained very mixed with supplies of lambs in genuine prime condition remaining limited. A full field of buyers competed in a stronger market, with high demand shown for medium and heavy trade lambs. Prices improved by $2 to $5 across the general run of young full wool lambs, while premiums were paid for well finished shorn lambs which pushed some sales up to $10/head dearer. The main run of store lambs averaged $6/head dearer.

Prices reached a top of $202/head for a small pen lot of extra heavy young lambs, and there wasn’t a lot of price change for the biggest lambs to export orders. The market was driven by domestic competition for lambs weighing from 21-27kg cwt, with these buyers paying over $180/head at times. Most of the better quality trade weight lambs ranged from $140 to $185, with the main run of crossbreds in the 22-24kg category averaging $162/head. On a carcase basis there was sales estimated as high as 690c for young lambs as buyers paid premiums for the neatest domestic pens, however the average across the sale when all trade weight types were calculated was around 640c to 650c/kg. The hot spot of the market was the lead drafts of young shorn lambs which made an estimated 660c to 700c/kg cwt at up to $200/head. Plainer and secondary lambs lacking fat cover fluctuated from $115 to $135/head depending on size. Bidding for store lambs lifted, with most sales to restockers again pushing above $100/head. An average run of small lambs to the paddock averaged $118/head.

Sheep numbers doubled with all weights and grades represented. Demand for mutton remained very strong, although the market was erratic. Extra heavy crossbred ewes sold to $163, while the main runs of heavy Merino ewes offering good skin returns sold to $176 and averaged over $150/head. It was estimated that a good run of trade and heavy mutton was costing processors from 460c to 520c/kg cwt. Lighter and plain sheep were cheaper at $70 to $90/head amid more numbers.
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Wagga Cattle Report

After last week’s disruption to supply due to rain, numbers doubled. Quality across the yarding was mixed with most cattle more suitable for feedlots and restockers. A slightly bigger field of export processors attended and operated, along with the usual group of domestic buyers. The store market sold to solid demand with plenty of northern orders in place and local restocker activity.

Vealers were in short supply making from 272c to 314c/kg. Competition for yearling trade cattle was low, causing prices to decrease. The main run of heifers sold 8c cheaper to average 262c/kg. The limited supply of trade steers sold to lack lustre competition. Steers suitable for slaughter sold from 270c to 303c/kg. Weaner steers weighing 200-280kg were aided by strong northern and local restocker demand, making from 313c to 400c/kg to average $871/head. Light weight secondary heifers lacked the competition of the previous market and eased 31c to average 269c/kg. Feeder steers were well supplied and competition remained steady throughout the sale. Medium weight steers sold unchanged to 4c cheaper to average 295c/kg. The general price trend for feeder heifers fluctuated and plainer types were over looked by some buyers. The bulk of the lighter weights heifers 330-400kg sold from 250c to 307c/kg. Background heifers 280-330kg sold to a smaller field of buyers and were up to 22c/kg cheaper.

Export steers sold to fluctuating demand, particularly from domestic buyers. The better C3 and C4 steers sold from 255c to 280c/kg. Heavy steers suitable to feed on sold from 265c to 287c/kg. In the cow market quality was mixed with most weights and grades represented. Not all buyers operated fully with one processors starting late in the sale. Heavy cows sold 9c cheaper to average 221c/kg. The D3 medium weights were 13c cheaper selling from 210c to 229c/kg.
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