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Australian Sheep Market Roundup

26 September 2014
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - The following report is a collection of market summaries from the previous week across Australia's territories from analysts at Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).

Victoria

Supply eases

Victorian lamb supply, as reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service, eased 4 per cent week-on-week, totalling 42,279 head. Throughput at Ballarat lifted 24 per cent , to 5,977 head, while yardings at Bendigo and Horsham eased to 21,899 head and 13,300 head, respectively. Hamilton supply decreased 34 per cent , to just 1,103 head.

MLA market analysts write that Victorian sheep supply decreased 11 per cent , to 22,442 head. Throughput eased 29 per cent at Bendigo, to 9,012 head, while yardings at Horsham were mainly firm on 6,382 head. Throughput at Ballarat and Hamilton both increased to 5,064 head and 1,984 head, respectively.

Quality lifts

Quality improved across all markets this week and demand was the best for those lambs in better condition. Restockers were active at Horsham and Bendigo, with many attending from Ballarat, Shepparton, Birchip, Hamilton and local areas.

There were some good quality Merino and heavy crossbred sheep at Bendigo and buyers showed preference for leaner light and medium weight lines. Most sheep at Ballarat and Hamilton were in good condition and sold strongly, while large lines of recently shorn Merino ewes and wethers were prominent at Horsham.

Prices mixed

Light weight 2 score young lambs to restockers were 15¢ dearer on 504¢, while trade weight lines to slaughter eased 14¢ to 491¢/kg cwt. Trade weight 3 score first cross lambs gained 13¢ to 485¢, while heavy weight 3 score lambs to slaughter decreased 1¢ to 498¢/kg cwt.

Medium weight 3 score Merino ewes lifted 9¢ to 318¢, while heavy weight 3 score Merino ewes slipped 9¢ to 310¢/kg cwt. Heavy weight 4 score first cross ewes were 15¢ higher on 280¢/kg cwt. Medium weight 2 score Merino wethers decreased 7¢ to 322¢, while the 3 score portion was 5¢ dearer on 322¢/kg cwt.

South Australia

Numbers continue to rise

SA lamb supply, as reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service, lifted 32 per cent week-on-week, to total 19,481 head. Numbers at Naracoorte more than doubled, to 7,682 head, while the SA Livestock Exchange lifted 4 per cent, to total 11,799 head.

Overall sheep supply was 18 per cent higher this week, at 6,856 head, due to Naracoorte consigning almost 50 per cent more sheep, at 3,122 head. Numbers at the SA Livestock Exchange, on the other hand, remained firm for a total of 3,734 head.

Processor demand strong

New season lamb quality was reportedly average at Naracoorte this week and processors purchased the large numbers of lightweights penned, while restockers were active on the heavier lots. Trade and processor buyers were bidding strongly on the very good quality selection of trade and heavy lambs available at the SA Livestock Exchange, with heavy old crossbreds attracting particular interest.

Mutton quality was good across both weekly markets, with several pens of heavy Merinos and crossbreds consigned, however processor demand eased at the SA Livestock Exchange.

Heavier new season lambs dearer

Light weight (12-16kg) 2 score new season crossbred lambs eased 27¢, averaging 452¢, while the heavier end (16-18kg) 3 scores lifted 11¢ to settle on 477¢/kg cwt. Trade weight crossbreds sold 5¢ to 26¢ higher, with average prices in the high 470¢/kg cwt range. Heavy 3 scores lifted 28¢, to 484¢, while the 4 scores improved 15¢ to average 468¢/kg cwt.

Trade and heavy weight Merino 3 score old lambs were significantly cheaper, back 59¢ to 71¢, with averages from 321¢ to 369¢/kg cwt. Extra heavy weight 4 score old crossbreds were unchanged on 388¢/kg cwt, added MLA analysts.

Medium 2 and 3 score Merino ewes were back 7¢ to 20¢, averaging in the mid to high 260¢/kg cwt range. Heavy first cross 3 score ewes lifted 21¢, to 285¢, while the restocker Merinos sold 12¢ better and averaged 260¢/kg cwt. Heavy 3 score Merino wethers slipped 6¢, topping at 277¢ and averaging 266¢/kg cwt.

New South Wales 

Supplies ease

NSW lamb supply, as reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service, eased 20 per cent week-on-week, to total 87,180 head. CTLX and Dubbo both yarded less lambs, at 5,520 head and 23,565 head, respectively, while throughput at Wagga decreased 12 per cent, to 32,000 head. Supply at Forbes eased 29 per cent, to 23,500 head, while Goulburn and Tamworth yarded similar numbers.

NSW sheep supply was relatively stable week-on-week, on 31,950 head. Decreases in supply at Wagga and CTLX helped to even out the higher supplies at Forbes, Dubbo and Tamworth.

Young lamb quality improves

Young lamb quality at Wagga was outstanding with more lines weighing above 24kg cwt, while quality improved at Dubbo and CTLX. Merino lambs were also well supplied at Dubbo and most were in good condition. There were increased drafts of lambs showing dryness and seed contamination at Forbes. Heavy weight lines at Wagga attracted solid demand from export buyers, while competition reduced at Tamworth due to the absence of one buyer.

Mutton quality at Dubbo was plainer, with larger percentages of lighter weights penned, however they still attracted support from restockers. Heavy sheep were in good supply at Wagga and bidding was the strongest from northern exporters.

Prices vary

Light weight 3 score young lambs to slaughter were 4¢ cheaper on 500¢, while trade weights gained 16¢ to 491¢/kg cwt. Heavier trade weight 3 score lambs to slaughter were 13¢ dearer on 492¢, while heavy weight 3 and 4 score young lambs to slaughter eased 1¢ to 5¢ to range in price from 433¢ to 530¢/kg cwt. Extra heavy weight 4 score young lambs to slaughter lifted 3¢ to 446¢/kg cwt.

Trade weight 3 score Merino old lambs improved 16¢ to 412¢, while those to slaughter increased 6¢ to 452¢/kg cwt. Heavy weight 3 and 4 score old lambs to slaughter lifted 5¢ to 7¢ to average from 387¢ to 550¢/kg cwt.

Light weight 2 score Merino ewes lifted 28¢ to 347¢, while medium weight 3 score Merino ewes gained 4¢ to 334¢/kg cwt. Heavy weight 3 score Merino ewes were unchanged in price on 321¢, while heavy weight first cross lines were 6¢ higher on 295¢/kg cwt. Medium weight 3 score Merino wethers slipped 9¢ to average 330¢/kg cwt.

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