WHILE the lamb market may be in the doldrums, producers can take solace in the fact it is less than eight weeks until suckers hit some markets where a promising rebound is in sight.
At the close of trade last week the National Livestock Reporting Service (NLRS) reported a price lull for lambs, as a greater percentage of light lambs were yarded.
Light lambs to slaughter, which made up 25pc of the State’s market, sold for an average of 413 cents a kilogram; trade lambs averaged 382c/kg; heavy lambs averaged 363c/kg; and heavy lambs made 356c/kg.
At the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange (CTLX) on Wednesday last week there was a 21pc fall in the number of lambs yarded compared to the week prior.
NLRS recorded 8500 lambs and quality was on the mixed to plainer side and competition weaker throughout all categories.
Trade weight prices ranged from $77 to $97.50 and heavy lambs sold from $86 to $107.
Ray White Emms Mooney livestock agent Ben Emms, Blayney, said the lamb market was depressed and there was no change in sight.
“This is due to a combination of factors – the market has retreated because more producers are sending their lambs direct-to-works as that is a defensive way to sell,” Mr Emms said.
He said as processors had become fully booked for lambs it had a snowball effect on the physical markets.
“It has also been exacerbated to a degree by forward contracting of a significant number of lambs,” Mr Emms said.
The activity at the saleyards was not a true reflection of where the market was.
“The market at the yards is the effect of processors being booked up direct and not having to operate at full strength in the saleyards market, the buyers are there on sale day, but they are operating at reduced levels,” he said.
Mr Emms did not expect a lift in prices at the yards until mid August when early suckers hit the market.
Meanwhile, at Wagga Wagga last Thursday, 25,000 lambs were penned, with export lambs in large supply.
G.J. Hulm livestock agent Isaac Hill, Wagga, said the depressed lamb market was due to easing supply across the board and lambs showing a “wintery finish”.
He said numbers would now drop off until suckers entered the market in September at Wagga.
However, in terms of records, Wagga had a very large yarding by June standards for the second sale of the month.
“We yarded 35,00 lambs, which would be 15,000 up on the same week last year, it is unheard of for the second week in June,” Mr Hill said.
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