A wet and chilly week across the state did not prevent numbers from reaching physical markets.
Lamb yardings increased 27% across MLA’s NLRS reported markets.
Bendigo and Hamilton recorded the greatest increases of 40% and 35% respectively.
Horsham drew 16% more numbers while Ballarat offered 13% more lambs.
Lamb quality was varied with most stock clearly showing the effects of the cold winter conditions and declining feed availability.
Restocker drafts were of similar quality however there was a larger offering to choose from.
Trade descriptions were fewer and the most restricted in quality, generally lacking a good quality top end.
There were sound numbers of heavy lambs in good condition as a result of supplementary feeding, however their supply was reduced.
Most of the usual buyers were present except for some processors.
There were several more restocker buyers however these did not alter the competitive field greatly.
Overall most buyers were focused on securing suitable lots and were reluctant to buy outside of these specifications.
This caused erratic bidding and mixed trends however the better end of each line sold stronger.
The states sheep yarding increased 35% with quality being variable.
The yarding consisted mostly of Merino ewes however there were more Merino wethers yarded which sold to the best demand from restockers.
Overall demand was strong for sheep however the medium mutton grades went against the trend under weight of supply.
Mutton sales strong
There was an increase in store quality lambs suitable for restockers.
The very light 1 score drafts returned to the paddock for $27/head being slightly cheaper.
The light 2 scores dropped $4 to sell around $64/head. Processors paid 9¢ more for similar drafts which made 403¢/kg cwt.
The light trade weights sold strongly to the trade for 432¢/kg cwt.
A larger yarding of trade weight 3 scores sold to a cheaper trend, losing13¢, with prices mostly from 429c to 437¢/kg cwt.
Heavy 3 score lambs were unchanged at 409¢ while the 4 scores gained 10¢ to 396¢/kg cwt.
Some extra heavy 4 score lambs sold to a mixed trend, returning between 349¢ and 390¢/kg cwt.
The increased supply of mutton sold to solid enquiry.
The extra light Merino ewes were unchanged at 212¢/kg cwt. Light Merino ewes gained 34¢ to mostly sell around 264¢/kg cwt.
The medium 2 score Merino ewes improved 27¢ to 300¢ while the 3 scores gained 21¢ and sold mostly around 322¢/kg cwt.
Heavy 3 score first cross ewes gained 11¢ to average 280¢ while the 4 scores reduced 10¢ to sell closer to 253¢/kg cwt.
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