Bendigo Sheep & Lamb Report

Lamb numbers remained similar, although there was a dramatic decrease in quality and weight across the yarding. Agents said the supply of first draft young lambs from southern areas was nearly finished, while the turn off of shorn lambs is only just starting. It meant there were only limited numbers of heavy and medium trade weight lambs available. This tight supply helped support the market despite not all processors operating. The best processor lambs improved by approximately $8/head, with well finished recently shorn pens attracting the best support from buyers. The bulk of the yarding were lighter weight lambs under 20kg cwt that sold to a mix of restocking and processing orders. Lambs in the 16-20kg cwt category sold a few dollars either side of last week’s prices, while the smallest lambs to the paddock rebounded by up to $15, as restockers looked to purchase for less than $100/head.

Heavy shorn lambs sold to $199 and unshorn young lambs made to $188/head. The general run of trade weight lambs mainly made from $150 to $180/head. On a carcase basis, most categories returned averages from 670c to 695c, with premiums of over 700c/kg cwt paid for the lead pens of recently shorn lambs. There were many dry skinned lambs in the 18-20kg weight category and these fluctuated from $120 to $144/head. Restockers were active from Euroa, Echuca, Swan Hill, Wycheproof and the local Bendigo area, and demand favoured the smallest store lambs, as buyers set dollar per head limits. Small lambs to the paddock made from $49 to $99 to average approximately $80/head. Bigger framed types, with more size, received from $114 to $130/head. Carcase prices for small store lambs showed substantial increases at times.

It was another good yarding of sheep, covering all weights and grades. Processor demand was more subdued, with not all buyers active, and the sale lost momentum during the auction. The best of the feature lines, such as 608 head of heavy Merino wethers in a short skin, sold for $130/head, remaining similar to a week ago. However, prices for the general yarding eased by $4 to $11/head, with heavy crossbred ewes and very plain and light sheep the most affected. The better quality processing sheep were estimated to make from 380c to 420c/kg cwt, with premiums above this paid for the best lines of Merino wethers and ewes.

There will be a final market at Bendigo next Monday, with markets recommencing on the 7th January 2019.
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Wagga Cattle Report

Numbers held steady in another mixed quality yarding. Trade cattle were few and domestic processors were very subdued. Grown steer and bullocks numbers dwindled notably however quality was quite good. Not all of the usual buying group attended. Restockers had the greatest influence over lighter weight categories posting dearer prices over most classes.

Prices lifted 10c to 12c for vealers, with the better finished making from 235c to 277c/kg. There were only limited numbers of trade heifers, with the bulk of the heifers purchased by a large field of feedlot buyers. Heifers suitable for the trade were unchanged to 2c easier, making from 245c to 269c/kg. The bulk of the weaner steers returning to the paddock weighing 200-280kg gained 48c, returning prices from 208c to 320c/kg. The heifer portion lifted 23c, making from 203c to 268c/kg.

The feeder steer and heifer market sold to strong competition, with buyers keen for supplies before the Christmas holiday break. Feeder steers generally lifted 2c to 4c, to receive from 220c to 299c/kg. Feeder heifers weighing 330-400kg were well supplied and the steady demand kept prices unchanged to average 255c/kg. In the export market processors struggled to make a start due to the limited numbers. Pens of prime finished steers to processors made from 245c to 280c/kg. Not all northern buyers operated in the cow market, while other processors were selective. Heavy cows eased 13c to average 198c/kg. The D3 medium weight lines sold 19c cheaper, making from 142c to 185c/kg.
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Pakenham Cattle Report

There were approximately 1,100 export and 750 young cattle penned, representing an increase of 100 head week-on-week. The usual buying group was present but not all operating fully in a mixed market that saw young cattle generally improve and export grades decline. Quality was mixed, with fewer prime export cattle replaced by a larger offering of both young cattle and cows. Competition improved from processors for suitable trade lines, with prices up to 5c/kg dearer, while feeders and restockers also pushed harder at all weights. Grown steers and bullocks eased 3c to 6c/kg. Heavy grown heifers sold 10c/kg cheaper. Heavy crossbred manufacturing steers eased 14c/kg. Fewer buyers operating on the cows brought prices back mainly 4c to 8c/kg and more in places. Heavy bulls sold firm.

Most vealers sold from 252c to 322c, with a few more over 300c/kg. Yearling trade steers made from 259c to 308c/kg. Yearling heifers to the trade sold from 225c to 290c/kg.

Grown steers made from 245c to 279c/kg. Bullocks sold from 262c to 283c/kg. Heavy heifers showing good finish made from 230c to 262c/kg. Heavy crossbred manufacturing steers sold from 199c to 265c/kg. Most light and medium weight cows made from 135c to 186c, while the poorest light weights sold as low as 79c/kg. Most heavy weight cows sold from 166c to 214c/kg. Better shaped heavy bulls made from 218c to 259c/kg.
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